Friday, April 24, 2009

Influenza in Mexico

This is today's hot hot hot topic on the internet, the media is picking up on the news that a large number of people have been infected by influenza or swine flu in Mexico. Reports indicate various numbers of deaths from the infection (I've read so many different articles that I hate to put a number on it, some say 20, some say 60, it's hard to know what is accurate) and hundreds are ill. The reported cases appear to be focused around Mexico City and the central part of Mexico. Mexico City has canceled classes in schools and many cultural events have been postponed. The citizens of Mexico City are taking precautions against the infection, photos show people wearing surgical masks and reports suggest that the city is "paralyzed".

Currently, as of this moment on Friday afternoon, there have been zero cases reported in Quintana Roo and Cancun. The airport is apparently on alert, monitoring arrivals for indications of illness. (Not sure how much they can actually do, but reports say they are doing something). I've received a few emails already from people asking if they should cancel their trips. At this point, I would say no, come on down, the water is fine.

Twitter is absolutely abuzz with the topic, following #influenza has been interesting, people cracking jokes and spinning conspiracy theories, suggesting it's a government ploy to direct attention away from the country's problems or that it's just another play by the media to smear Mexico's reputation. Gives the tweeple something to talk about anyway, I'm finding it quite entertaining.

The truth of the matter is that yes, there are many people in central Mexico affected by the infection, but for now, all is clear in Cancun and Quintana Roo.

Here are a few links to today's news on the topic:

Canadian Press- No Reason for Canadians Not to Travel to Mexico
Time- Will Swine Flu Panic Spread Beyond Mexico?
Reuters UK- Mexico Hit by Deadly New Flu Virus
Noticaribe (Spanish)- Podria Influenza Agrava Males Economicos de Mexico (Influenza could aggravate the bad economy in Mexico)
Noticaribe (Spanish)- "Alerta Preventiva" en QRoo por Influenza ("Preventative Alert" in Quintana Roo for influenza)

No need for panic folks, if you've got an upcoming trip, relax, and if it makes you feel better get a flu shot and take your vitamin C. Max and I are both sick with colds, but I am really not at all concerned about it being anything more than that, if I were, you'd be hearing the panic in my "voice" too.

***eta- See Saturday update here. Monday update here and Tuesday update here. Yes, things change, this is now an old post on the subject.


LA CHONA said...

i was speaking to my FAM from mexico city they sai d the goverment is talking about closing boarders and that mean no planes eather so if you come you might be stuck here

Amanda said...

I was in Germany when the bird flu was spreading through Europe. And even though it was extremely close to where I was, I never felt like it was a huge issue. I mean, as long as you're mindful, there shouldn't be anything to worry about.

Leslie Harris (de Limon) said...

My mexican hubby is already sick of watching the news because it's ALL about Swine Flu!!! Jalisco seems to be in the clear...for now!

I really enjoy your blog.

Steve Cotton said...

I was in Bordega Aurrera today. The cashier and bag boy were both wearing face masks. I thought it might be becaise of swine flu. But, considering their prices, I suspect it was simply part of their robbery routine.

CancunCanuck said...

La Chona- I haven't read or heard anything about official border closings, just rumours. Nothing happening right now.

Amanda Lynn- Staying aware of the events is important and taking precautions (washing hands, etc, etc), being mindful as you said. I was in Toronto for SARS and had some odd experiences, but I never felt at risk. Still don't feel at risk in Cancun for this one.

Leslie Limon- Nice to "e-meet" you, looking forward to reading more of your blog. I think we'll be inundated with these stories for a while yet.

Steve- Ha! You make me giggle, thanks. I want to give you the old "Ba dum CHING!" rim shot for that one. :)

Moti said...


We are in Cancun and enjoying he beaches....we have not seen anyone wearing masks even-practically, with boozes and beaches, you will never get to know of these, unless you sneak in some tv new moments....(and then your spouse would make you search if "Cancun" is impacted)...but glad to see that people are still upbeat...

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