Cool heads necessary when dealing with swine virus

Airport timetable

Just when people thought that things could not get any worse for the reeling aerospace industry, here comes the “swine flu” to deal another blow. Whether we will be down for the count depends on the findings and decisions made by the scientific and medical communities, and various governments, in the coming days.

The way and the speed with which the virus has spread to far corners of the world will undoubtedly affect airlines and airport operators, who are waiting for more information before deciding on how to properly deal with the problem. Their share prices have been tumbling in a reflection of the public’s worries about the issue,

The initial steps – additional screening points at airport, grounding staff who may have been in contact with those who were infected, and discouraging people from travelling to places where the virus appears to be most virulent – are necessary.

Some have taken it a step further. Australia, for example, requires the captains of all aircraft coming from the Americas to report to the Australian Quarantine Inspection Service (AQIS) on the health status of the passengers. An AQIS officer will see anyone with flu-like symptoms and assess if medical attention is required.

However, the truth is that it is still too early to jump to conclusions about the scale of the problem. Precautions are necessary, but let us not allow that to lead to widespread panic. When dealing with the unknown, a cool head is the best way to handle the issue.

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