I knew it wouldn’t take long before the H1N1 virus hit Bali considering the number of tourists who visit the island from all parts of the globe. Candika has just returned from China where she said the streets were a blur of white face masks and, maybe the case will be the same in Bali. Somehow I don’t think, mainly because the Balinese Health Department is very proficient in dealing with matters of epidemics in the past with diseases such as SARS and the Avian Bird Flu. In Indonesia there are six confirmed cases and of those three were locals in Jakarta. One cannot bury their heads in the sand and say the virus will not spread in Indonesia or on the island of Bali. The best thing to do is protect yourself as best possible. If you wish to get a face mask they are available at most Australian chemists or ask your doctor. If you can obtain some Tamiflu from your GP, then do so. The incubation period for the H1N1 Virus is seven days and it’s hard to differentiate between the H1N1 virus and a normal dose of the flu.
I think most tourists travelling to Bali should feel quite confident in enjoying themselves and there is no real drama as yet. Use your common sense and cover your mouth when you cough and of course wash your hands after meals and using the ablutions. I was, however, quite pleased to read in the Bali Discovery today that Ngurah Rai Airport has swung into action, so to speak, and already established screening procedures:
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Working together with the Airport Health Office, PAP I will single out planes from countries confirmed to be infected with the H1N1 Virus for special treatment. Upon landing at Bali’s airport the subject planes will be sequestered briefly at Bravo 18 – a remote aircraft parking area of the airport where the plane and its passengers will be sprayed with disinfectant. Passengers will then be disembarked and subjected to thermal scanners to determine if any are suffering from an elevated body temperature which, if discovered, would earn a more thorough medical examination by the airport’s H1N1 containment team.
Image Courtesy: Bali Discovery