AUSTRALIA is on red alert for people with symptoms of an animal virus with the potential to become a global threat.
A human strain of swine influenza, a rare flu originating in pigs, has erupted in Mexico, killing at least 81 people and affecting another 1300.
Sunday night, New Zealand health authorities said 10 high school students could be infected and were in quarantine after returning from the Mexican capital.
Samples from the students will be tested at the Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Centre at the Royal Melbourne Hospital.
The World Health Organisation Sunday warned the outbreak could become pandemic.