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Date of last update: 10/12/2017.

Forum Name: Viral Infections

Question: Swine Flu Outbreak/Risk of Travelling to "Uninfected" Mexico

 jmm1101 - Sun Apr 26, 2009 2:24 pm

Hi, my husband, myself and our two children (ages 4 and 2) are scheduled to travel to Cancun, Mexico for 5 days on May 3, 2009. We are very concerned about the outbreak of the swine flu, but it seems to be in the Mexico City area, not where we are travelling to. My husband and I know to wash our hands, etc., but we are worried about our children who stick their hands in the mouths all the time. Are there serious risks here even though we're travelling to the "uninfected" part of Mexico? Thanks very much for any help or guidance with this.
 Debbie Miller, RN - Wed May 06, 2009 5:54 pm

User avatar Hello,
Since this strain of flu is popping up in many countries (21, with 1600 ill from it; 500 in the U.S.), there is no way to know when it will strike in any particular place. It does appear to not be as deadly as it might have turned out to be - this is good news when fears like this are not realized.

SkyNews responds to this type of question:
"Q: Have there been any confirmed cases of swine flu in Mexico's tourist resorts?
A: No.
"Q: I intend to travel to a country where swine flu has been confirmed. What precautions can I take?
A: If you are traveling to an affected country you should consult your usual healthcare provider for travel medical advice and further guidance if you have specific concerns. You should check the FCO's travel advice for the relevant country before traveling. General infection control practices and good respiratory hand hygiene can help to reduce transmission of all viruses, including the human swine influenza.

This includes: covering your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, using a tissue when possible; disposing of dirty tissues promptly and carefully; maintaining good basic hygiene (for example washing hands frequently with soap and water to reduce the spread of the virus from your hands to face or to other people); cleaning hard surfaces (e.g. door handles) frequently using a normal cleaning product; making sure your children follow this advice."

What this says to me is that the resort areas have not been affected so if you don't intend to do much traveling to other populated areas, you may well be at no greater risk than you would be staying home. This is partly because the resorts bring in clean water and typically use good, hygienic practices, more like you would see in other countries. There is no way to be positive you will not have exposure to the flu.

Best wishes.

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