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Mexico travel advice

[April 27, 2009]

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has updated its travel advice for Mexico but is not yet advising against travel there, following the outbreak of a new strain of swine flu.

FCO advice now stresses that visitors to Mexico should be aware of the outbreak and to take various precautions when in the country.

According to the BBC, at least 100 people are suspected to have died of the disease in Mexico. Cases have also been reported in the United States and Canada.

But in most cases outside Mexico, people with the virus have only been mildly ill and have made a full recovery.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) and FCO are still not advising against travel to the country. Airlines are continuing to fly there, so travellers who cancel holidays in Mexico due to swine flu will not be reimbursed.

However, the outbreak has been declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern by the WHO.

WHO Director-General Margaret Chan said: “We do not yet have a complete picture of the epidemiology or the risk, including possible spread beyond the currently affected areas,” according to the United Nations news centre.

People in Mexico are advised to:
•avoid large crowds
•avoid shaking hands
•avoid kissing people as a greeting
•avoid using the subway
•maintain a distance of at least six feet from other persons
•wash hands frequently to help reduce the risk of exposure

Travellers should consult a doctor immediately if they show signs of flu-like symptoms. Anti-viral medicines are being prepared and travellers are being screened at some airports for symptoms.

Written by: Maxine Clarke

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