The swine flu outbreak in Mexico is causing several cruise ships to divert to San Diego, where it’s hoped that passengers will drop a lot of cash, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
These ships are diverting from ports on the West Coast of Mexico where, so far, there have been no reported cases of swine flu. See Google’s swine flu mashup for details.
There have been two fatal cases in Tijuana, right on the U.S. border. But no other cases have been reported down the coast (yet) in Cabo San Lucas, Ensanada, Mazatlan, Acapulco or Puerto Vallarta, the Mexican ports on the West Coast that cruise ships are avoiding, as CruiseMates points out..
Meanwhile, the number of confirmed swine flu cases in California has reached 14, with seven in San Diego County. Twenty-nine more cases are suspected, including eight in San Diego County, according to the California Department of Public Health.
I’m not saying that the West Coast of Mexico is safer than San Diego, or that the cruise lines have acted unreasonably. The Centers for Disease Control has warned against nonessential travel to Mexico, after all.
The flu is certainly not widespread in California at this point, and symptoms in cases there have been less severe than in Mexico. Nobody has died. Furthermore, we don’t know how thoroughly, accurately and quickly statistics are being reported, in any country.
But we can be reasonably sure that viruses care nothing for borders and that, in any event, the swine flu has already spread into all three countries of North America. This is not a “Mexican” flu. It’s the world’s flu, and we’re all going to have to cope with it, whether we want to or not.
Meanwhile, if you have a cruise planned to Mexico, Gene Sloan at USA Today’s Cruise Log is keeping a thorough tally of itinerary changes.