Date registered: Mar 2005
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Lots more details today...
New Orleans mayor in China flu quarantine
Another traveler on Ray Nagin's flight showed symptoms of the illness
June 8, 2009
Chinese authorities have quarantined New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin and his wife in a Shanghai hotel after a passenger on their flight exhibited flu-like symptoms.
Nagin's office said the couple and a security guard were quarantined Sunday as a precaution and were exhibiting no swine flu symptoms.
Nagin's spokeswoman Ceeon Quiett said the three are "being treated with utmost courtesy by Chinese officials," The Times-Picayune newspaper reported Monday.
Nagin "is feeling well and continues to be in communication with his staff," according to Quiett. She did not know how long they would be quarantined.
Nagin left Friday for an economic development trip. He was to travel next to Australia, where he'd planned to speak on climate change and sustainable building.
China has been enforcing quarantines and temperature checks at airports throughout the country to prevent the virus from spreading.
The World Health Organization reported that, as of Monday morning, 73 countries had officially reported 25,288 cases of infection. Most of the cases have been mild, though 139 people have died.
Last month, China quarantined a group of 21 students and three teachers from a Maryland private school for five days in a hotel. Officials feared the group from the Barrie School in Silver Spring was exposed to swine flu on their flight from San Francisco to Hong Kong.
Nagin’s office said a passenger on the flight from Newark, N.J., had “signs and symptoms of an influenza-like illness suspected to be of the H1N1 subtype.” People sitting near that passenger were quarantined.
Three other city employees on the trip were not sitting close enough to the passenger to be quarantined, Quiett said. They were the deputy head of the press office, James Ross, city economic development director Ernest Gethers and Lisa Ponce de Leon, director of international affairs.
Quiett said Nagin has been in contact with city officials in New Orleans and that city business continues in his absence.
Nagin left Friday on an economic development trip through the eastern Pacific and had two meetings in Shanghai before getting the quarantine notice, Quiett said. Private interests were to pay for that leg of his trip, Quiett said, though she did not say who those interests were and said the cost was “not available to us.”
Nagin was scheduled to travel next to Australia to speak at a conference on climate change and the global recession at the University of Sydney, but the status of those plans remained unclear Monday morning.
New Orleans’ departing recovery director, Ed Blakely, was a professor at the university and among the conference’s scheduled speakers. A spokeswoman for the university’s United States Studies Centre has said Blakely is being made an “honorary” professor in urban policy at the center.
Nagin’s schedule initially had him in Shanghai until Tuesday and then in Australia from Wednesday until Sunday. The mayor and his party were due to return to New Orleans June 15.