Protective measures are being stepped up in Mexico and neighbouring states as more cases of a deadly flu strain are reported.
More than 1,000 people are now said to be infected prompting the authorities to urge the wearing of face masks. With at least 20 people confirmed dead and forty suspected deaths, a vaccination programme is underway but the emergence of a mixture of viruses has taken experts by surprise. Gregory Hartl, World Health Organisation said: “WHO is highly concerned by what is happening in Mexico and the United States. The fact that these are happening so late in the influenza season and that many affected are young adults rather than young children or older people has raised the alarm bell for us.” It is not just Mexico trying to contain the outbreak – Washington is monitoring the the situation after at least eight people developed symptoms in two US states but recovered. Dr. Richard Besser – US Centre for Disease Control expressed his concern: “There are things that we see that suggest containment is not very likely. We are seeing cases in Texas and we are seeing cases in San Diego without any connection between them, which makes us think there has been transmission from person to person.” Health experts believe the flu is a new mixed strain mutated from a respiratory disease found in pigs. The original swine fever is rarely transmitted to humans. The Mexican authorities have said they have enough antiviral drugs to combat the outbreak for the moment.