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Swine flu hits cruise ship and airline review -

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Swine flu hits cruise ship and airline reviews operations

Reporter: Rachael Brown

PETER CAVE: As Australia's swine flu count continues to climb, health authorities are trying to
track down cruise ship passengers who may have been exposed to the virus.

The ACT has recorded its first case today and the tally is now changing by the hour.

As the virus continues to spread, airlines are reviewing their operations and Jetstar is cutting a
lot of its flights to and from Japan.

Rachael Brown reports.

RACHAEL BROWN: New South Wales health authorities are trying to track down passengers who might've
returned with an unwanted souvenir from the Pacific.

About 130 passengers reported having respiratory problems on the cruise ship Pacific Dawn; later
two children were diagnosed with swine flu.

The New South Wales chief health officer Kerry Chant is urging the ship's 2,000 passengers to
remain in quarantine for a week.

KERRY CHANT: Overnight we have been trying to get out the message for those people who didn't have
symptoms on their health declaration card to voluntarily isolate themselves.

I think it's really important that the community understands that we're trying to contain the
spread of human swine influenza in order to prevent further community transmission.

RACHAEL BROWN: One concerned passenger Maxine, from Sale in regional Victoria, says she was told
nothing of the outbreak on the ship.

Her husband's developed a chest infection, but has not been contacted by authorities.

MAXINE: I'm alright, I'm just tired because I didn't sleep last night but my husband's actually in
bed with a chest cold that appeared last night when we first got home and we got home to our son
last night and so I'm keeping him home from school as well.

RACHAEL BROWN: The ACT's first swine flu case, a 41-year-old man who returned from the US on the
weekend, has told local radio it just feels just like a cold

TALKBACK CALLER: I have got a little bit of the flu. You know the fact that they call it the pig
flu or swine flu is just like saying you have got red cordial or green cordial.

RACHAEL BROWN: His biggest concern is that he attended his two-year-old's birthday party on Sunday

TALKBACK CALLER: There were so many, you know, lovely little kids there that now will have to go
and be swabbed and tested and the swabbing is, they put something up your nose which I think they
are scrapping out the back of your brain to test for this thing so it is a little bit uncomfortable
but it is better to be tested than not.

RACHAEL BROWN: For some diagnosed with the virus, quarantine is taking its toll.

Eight-year old Mohamad Sanad is one of Victoria's cases.

His father, Waseam Sanad, expects the family of six to be cooped up for another two weeks, and says
supplies are already running short.

WASEAM SANAD: We are still making arrangements with the council to have some food delivered. Just
necessities - milk, bread, butter - those things. It is not an emergency. We've got some supply but
we will be in need soon.

RACHAEL BROWN: But Mr Sanad says the experience has brought the family closer together.

WASEAM SANAD: It's been a bonding experience. There's some good that's come out of it believe it or
not. We've just learnt to do things together and be patient with one another and ride this through.
A lot of DVDs and playing trivial pursuit. We just find things to pass the time. It is a little bit
awkward and at times uncomfortable but it's not a problem.

RACHAEL BROWN: Victoria's main problem at the moment is community infections; schools are proving
hot-houses for the virus with students falling ill and infecting others.

More students are being sent home in Melbourne's inner-north after the diagnosis of an
eight-year-old girl.

Victoria's acting chief health officer Dr Rosemary Lester says the virus is proving difficult to
contain because it depends on people's social networks, say football clubs.

Speaking of which, the AFL's Freemantle Dockers says its confident swine flu won't affect those
whose job it is to kick around the pig skin.

The team was on the same flight as an infected Perth man but isn't expecting any disruption to this
weekend's match.

With airlines another hothouse for the virus, low-cost airline Jetstar has decided to cancel more
than a third of its flights to Japan over the next month because of a drop in demand and
cancellations.

Jetstar's Simon Westaway

SIMON WESTAWAY: Direction from the Japanese Ministry for Education has advised all school groups to
not undertake international travel which is clearly having an effect on our downmarket. This is a
traditional period of travel for school students over the May and June period. I think a lot of
Asian countries were somewhat burnt by the experiences of SARS and I guess that is fresh in the
memories of many travellers.

PETER CAVE: Jetstar's Simon Westaway ending that report from Rachael Brown.