Australian diver Matthew Mitcham returned safely to Sydney over the weekend after being in Mexico City as swine flu started to spread. The Olympic gold medallist was training in Mexico when the World Health Organisation (WHO) raised the flu threat level to five, which led to the NSW Institute of Sport sending the team home.
The Olympic gold medallist had a face mask around his neck as he walked into the arrivals hall on Saturday morning.
“We got tested before we got on the plane in Mexico and were all asymptomatic,” said Mitcham to reporters. He joked about locking himself away with his partner for a few days.
“We’re going to be staying home for a couple of days just during the incubation period. I’m not going to be going out, you know, pashing people because… I suppose I feel a little bit careful,” said Mitcham.
So far Australia has managed to avoid the deadly swine flu virus, however Federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon has told the Herald Sun that Australia is expected to come into contact with it at some stage.
“We are concerned at some point that we will have a confirmed case and steps are being taken to make sure that we pounce on it quickly,” said Roxon. She confirmed that 413 Australians had been tested for the disease, and 337 had been cleared. She also said that the death toll in Mexico had been downgraded from 100 to 19.
Meanwhile, three Australians living in the UK have tested positive to swine flu. Kate Corbett, a 29-year-old journalist, is the third confirmed case, who told ABC News that she wished she was in Australia, because she felt our authorities would have handled it better.
“I sort of wish I was in Australia for this. It was me who had to be proactive,” said Corbett. “I had to call them in the first place. No-one called me… I had to call them and [spell it out] for the health authorities to actually take it seriously.”
Corbett is now being treated for the virus and must stay confined to her home for four days.
Photo: Jacky Ghossein.