Maximum Precautions from Swine Influenza in Lebanon

April 29, 2009 Updated: April 29, 2009

BEIRUT, Lebanon—The Lebanese Ministry of Health and Ministry of Agriculture circulated precautionary measures that should be taken to prevent swine influenza from spreading in Lebanon on April 27.

As a country with low pork consummation, Lebanon is still safe from the flu, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, which assures that the possibility of the flu reaching the country are “almost non-existent.” Lebanon does not import live pigs.

Precautionary measures were still recommended and imposed on farmers raising pigs, however. All workers now have to follow the World Health Organization’s instructions, wearing protective masks, clothes, and gloves while working; they are also expected to inform the authorities if they spy unusual symptoms in their swine. Bio-security procedures were also imposed on farms, including sterilizing the area and banning mixing pigs from different farms.

The Ministry of Agriculture banned importing living pigs, but still allows canned and heat-treated pork products, starting April 27. All shipments having reached the Lebanon from countries with the cases of the swine flu are not allowed to be used.

Mohammad Khalifeh, the Minister of Health, assured the public that there is nothing to fear from the pigs in Lebanon.