Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Swine Flu, AH1N1 Cancun, September Update- What Flu?

I probably shouldn't be surprised, but I am. I continue to get emails and comments on old posts from people with concerns about AH1N1 influenza (swine flu) in Cancun and Quintana Roo. It's incredible how misinformation and fear are spread, months after the outbreak which barely even reached this area of Mexico. The only real effect the virus had on the region was the complete shut down of businesses and schools and the terrible toll on the local economy.

Here are some facts:

1. Since the beginning of the outbreak, the entire state of Quintana Roo has suffered only one fatality.
2. Since the beginning of the outbreak, the total number of confirmed cases in the state total 513. (As a comparison, September 6 news indicates that there are a suspected 2000 cases at Washington State University alone)
3. The AH1N1 virus does not survive well in humid environments like that of the tropical climate in Quintana Roo.
4. While the numbers are extremely low and the risk is minimal, authorities continue to be vigilant in sanitary procedures and in monitoring the situation. Schools have taken extra steps this year to thwart any spread of viral diseases and tourist locales are doing all they can to ease the minds of travelers and maintain a healthy environment.
5. Treatments for the virus are widely available, further minimizing the risk of the disease becoming fatal.

This past weekend I watched a documentary on the Discovery Channel entitled "La Gripa Letal-AH1N1: Mexico Reacciona" (The Lethal Flu- AH1N1 Mexico Reacts). It was interesting to watch the events unfold now that we've gone beyond the original panic and shock. Mexico did a superb job of handling an unknown situation and preventing a devastating spread of the virus. Authorities around the world now recognize that lessons are to be learned from Mexico's reaction. Yes, many people became ill and many died, but if the government hadn't stepped in and basically shut down the country, the losses would have been much higher. With all the information currently available and with the education of the public, I expect that any further outbreaks will be under control in very short time.

So, as of this moment, September 16, 2009, there is absolutely zero reason to think that you are in any danger from the flu in Cancun and Quintana Roo. In fact, people are probably at greater risk staying home as the flu season begins in the cold regions of the US and Canada and other parts of the world. There is speculation that the disease will be coming for a second wave, but until that time comes, I do not hesitate to recommend travel to this area. Come on down, the water is fine!

For more detailed information about the current AH1N1 situation, please consult the following links:

Google Flu Trends Mexico
Google Flu Trends United States
Secretaria de Salud Mexico (Spanish)
World Health Organization H1N1
CDC H1N1 Flu Situation Update
New England Journal of Medicine HealthMap


Rosas Clan in Tulum said...

hey darlin. You are - as always- telling the good news. That does seem crazy that you are still getting comments and posts. I still get the saftey questions but the flu seems to have died down for me.

Thanks for the reminder for everyone to just take it easy!!!

Kelly said...

I have a much more interesting, non-flu related travel topic! I'm going on a cruise for my mother's birthday in November that only stops in Progresso and Coz. I've never been to Progresso and I'm not finding much information about it. Do you know a good source? I think it's close to Merida...?

Anyway, get back to me if you get a chance! Have a great Thursday!

Samy said...

LOL so true their is nothing to be scare of, I think the media makes more fuzz over it. :)

Cancun Mexico said...

Mexico has successfully managed to contain the flu. And Cancun with its spectacular climate and has overcome the serious risk of an epidemic. We must to investigate to verify that await us the wonders of Cancun and the Riviera Maya.

Denise said...

Boy would I love to go back to Mexico!!!

KfromMichigan said...

Three weeks to go and I'll be there! Do I hear a girls night out??!! Doesn't scare me, a person can get the flu in any location.

One Small Voz said...

Thanks for writing about this - I have to remind my friends & family in the US that the swine flu is not the great plague here in Veracruz!

CancunCanuck said...

Tulum Living- Man, I wish I didn't have to tell everyone to "take it easy" quite so often, haha! Swine is so dead here, but not in my mail and comments, sigh. Amazing how many hits I am still getting on searches for "Swine flu Cancun". Crazy.

Kelly- Whoohoo, cruise away! I've only been to Progreso once for about an hour, a cute little port town. You might ask Teresa in Merida about it, her blog is "What Do I Do All Day" and is on the blog roll. Happy travels!

Samy- The media will make a fuzz out of anything, grrrrr. Nothing to fear here folks, nothing to fear here. :) (Nice to see you!)

Cancun- We never really had a problem here, the govt reacted quickly and the flu never really took off. The hysteria of the media is what did the most damage to our economy. Thanks for stopping by!

Denise- Come on down, seriously, the water is fine! :)

KfromMichigan- Three weeks? Wow, whoohooo! Send me some mail, maybe we can find a mutually agreeable time to meet up!

Leah- Spread the word, there is no more danger here than anywhere in the world now. Thanks for stopping by, nice to "meet" you. :)

Islagringo said...

As usual, you are right on. I have even noticed that here on the island, bathrooms are a lot cleaner and I see people washing their hands a lot.

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