Mexican authorities, trying to contain a swine flu virus now blamed for at least 20 deaths, have shut down “schools, museums, libraries and state-run theaters” in Mexico City, the Associated Press reports.
Another 40 deaths are being analyzed to determine whether they were caused by the flu, and 943 people are reported hospitalized with symptoms. It’s not clear whether recent flu vaccinations will protect against this strain, but Mexican authorities believe antiviral medications are proving effective.
Meanwhile, Mexican news Web sites are full of pictures of people wearing surgical masks on the streets. And there’s even talk of canceling soccer games.
Eight people in Texas and California came down with the same virus, but have recovered.
The Public Health Agency of Canada has issued a travel advisory that warns of “a severe respiratory illness” in Mexico, the CBC reports. I’ve seen no advisory yet from the U.S. government. The AP reports that “the CDC said Americans need not avoid traveling to Mexico, as long as they take the usual precautions, such as frequent handwashing.”