Swine Flu Hits Japan

Quarantine officials at Narita Airport. Image (c) The Associated Press It's arrived!  Swine Flu is officially Big in Japan. 

The first cases were confirmed on Friday when three Americans arrived in Japan shortly after a trip to Canada.  

Flights arriving from afflicted countries are being quarantined and health inspectors are stepping on board to examine everyone on board.  Those exposed to the virus are being quarantined in "a facility near the airport" for 10 days, reports the AP.

If you're going to Japan soon, expect to be held on board your airplane for a short while, and be able to list a contact person or hotel for where you'll be staying.  Without this info the health officials at immigration may be hesitant to let you into the country. 

It's probably a good idea to pack a pocket-size notebook with phone numbers and addresses for the places you'll be staying.

By the way, the Keyword English for hand sanitizer gel is "alcohol gel," and it's normally sold at pharmacies, but supplies might be short right now.  Highly recommended.

Read the full story at the New York Times.