Passenger arriving from Mexico not infected with swine flu, Peru steps up health checks in Jorge Chavez International Airport

A Peruvian woman who traveled to Mexico and came back to Peru with flu-like symptoms does not have the swine flu, Radio Radio Programas, or RPP, reported Monday.

Carlos Salcedo Espinoza, the director of Callao’s Alcides Carrión Hospital, told reporters that lab results from tests on the 29-year old woman came back negative.

Upon her arrival in Peru’s capital, Lima, on Monday morning, the passenger – who suffered from a high fever and cough – was immediately hospitalized. She was discharged hours later after a full checkup, during which it was determined that she was not afflicted by the swine flu.

Since Friday, more than 700 passengers coming from the U.S., Central America and Mexico have been screened for flu symptoms upon their arrival in Lima. Peru’s national plan against a potential flu pandemic has rapidly been set into motion.

“We are working with the Health Ministry’s epidemiology experts and with maritime and air transport authorities because access to the country’s first port is not only possible via the Jorge Chávez International Airport, but via the docks, where many boats from Central America and Mexico are being supervised by the Callao Regional government’s sanitary authorities,” said Callao mayor, Alex Kouri.

“Our hospitals are prepared,” said Health Minister Oscar Ugarte. “We have the necessary resources to establish diagnostics and trained personnel for detection and evaluation. We are also launching a vaccination campaign against influenza.”

So far, approximately 149 people are believed to have died from swine flu in Mexico, where health authorities have closed all schools until mid-May. Additional cases, though less severe, have been reported in the U.S., Canada, New Zealand, Spain and Israel.

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