Helen Branswell has another good story on Canada.com: Screening for avian flu on incoming flights won't work.
Based on mathematical modelling done by officials of the British Health Protection Agency, the paper said neither pandemic flu nor a new outbreak of SARS could be contained using entry screening. The nature of the illnesses - SARS with its long incubation period, flu which is infectious before a person begins to feel unwell - means only a small percentage of cases would be caught by screening and that wouldn't be enough to keep an outbreak from igniting, the authors suggested.
Their modelling suggests that even on long-haul flights - flights long enough for people who are incubating a disease to possibly start to show signs of illness - entry screening would only catch six per cent of incoming SARS cases and 17 per cent of incoming influenza cases.
The moral appears to be that we pull up the drawbridge now, or don't bother. But who's going to shut down international air traffic (and hundreds of billions of dollars in trade and tourism) on the chance of letting H5N1 slip in?