Mexico? US? Just don't go there, warns EU health chief
Porcine flu terror spreads
Spain has confirmed one case of swine flu in the east of the country, as the European Commissioner for Health warned against unnecessary travel to the countries at the centre of the outbreak.
The warning came ahead of reports that the World Health Organisation was considering upping its alert level to an unprecedented high because of the outbreak.
Mexico has seen 103 deaths attributed to the new flu strain, while clusters of cases have been popping up across the US and Canada.
A 22-year-old Spanish student, who had just returned from Mexico, is being treated for fever and respiratory symptoms. His condition is not serious. There have been 20 total confirmed cases in five states in the US.
Two people in Scotland and one in Manchester have been confirmed as being tested for the virus, with reports claiming that another 22 are also being tested.
The EU Commissioner for Health Androulla Vassiliou said the EU was in contact with the US and Mexico, and had called on all the appropriate authorities to consider the situation and plan a response.
In the meantime, she said, "Personally, I would try to avoid non-essential travel to the areas which are reported to be in the centre of the clusters, in order to minimise the personal risk and to reduce the potential risk to spread the infection to other people." He also said travellers should seek urgent medical help if they start showing typical flu symptoms.
Meanwhile the US State Department has stopped all but essential services at its embassy in Mexico City. Travellers to the US from Mexico are being given a card warning them of likely symptoms and to tell their doctor if they get ill. ®
But you're wrong...
"Spain has confirmed one case of swine flu in the east of the country, as the European Commissioner for Health warned against unnecessary travel to the countries at the centre of the outbreak."
That's not quite right though is it? Androulla Vassiliou says "Personally, I would try to avoid non-essential travel to the AREAS which are reported to be in the centre of the clusters, in order to minimise the personal risk and to reduce the potential risk to spread the infection to other people."
Areas, not countries. As Lester says in an article today, the virus is "currently making short work of journalistic common sense". Here here.
You are absolutely right. My mistake.
Re: Ignorance is bliss
1918 hit a population with poor health care and living standards
Mexico has poor health care and living standards
H1N1, even in a new strain, is very well known and researched, and treatments exist in most countries with decent health care to deal with it (at least no worse than the usual deaths in vulnerable groups due to Flu).
So it's not hard to see why there is scepticism. It is however irresponsible (of the media) to go around spreading essentially FUD about millions of potential deaths for a situation which is largely unknown and unproven at this stage (referring back to the lack of concrete proof that all the Mexican deaths are actually due to Swine Flu).
Statistically westerners in countries like the UK have more to fear from getting out of bed in the morning, eating your breakfast and crossing the road. Do we have mass panic over this? No.
And as said, it's sad that we get panic over a tiny amount of deaths and infections due to this and yet don't care at all at the millions of deaths due to TB, Malaria, etc. It's sickening really.