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In a Little Cafe on the Other Side of the Border, a Virtual Visitor's Blog on Cancun

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Cancun, Mexico & U.S. Flu Update For Travelers
Filed under: Cancun Tourism, Cancun Swine Flu/AH1N1
Posted by: Dangers @ 6:19 pm

Breaking News: World Health Organization Raises Alert status to five (5) of six (6), the second highest level, indicating swine flu nears widespread human infection and pandemic level. Phase 5 is characterized by human-to-human spread of the
virus into at least two countries in one WHO region. While most
countries will not be affected at this stage, the declaration of Phase
5 is a strong signal that a pandemic is imminent and that the time to
finalize the organization, communication, and implementation of the
planned mitigation measures is short.

04/29/09 Mexico Travel and World Influenza Update

1) Reports indicate that the first confirmed U.S. fatality from swine flu in Texas of a 23 month old child.
2) Cruise Ship Industry cancels Mexico Ports of call temporarily.
3) In Cancun, no confirmed cases of swine flu.
4) In Cancun and Playa Del Carmen, voluntary efforts by local bars, clubs and restaurants to limit clientele.
5) All Archaeological sites in Mexico closed until further notice by INAH.
6) Most Canadian Flights canceled to Mexico.
7) UK based Thompson Travel and First Choice cancel Mexico flights and tours temporarily to Mexico.
8) Suspected new swine flu cases in multiple US States.
9) Wikipedia Swine Flu Map: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009_swine_flu_outbreak

     Confirmed deaths     Confirmed cases     Unconfirmed cases
10) First confirmed case of Swine Flu in Germany
11) Cancun reporting estimated 30% loss in Hotel business, 50% in restaurant industry and limited tourist activity in retail areas.

04/28/09 Mexico Travel and World Influenza Update

1) Transat Airlines and its travel arm announced today that all future flights to Mexico have been canceled. Air Canada has canceled all flights to Cozumel, Cancun and Puerto Vallarta until June 1, 2009, flights for the time being will continue oddly enough to Mexico City. http://www.aircanada.com/en/news/trav_adv/090426.html Sunwing Vacations is canceling all flights and trips to Mexico until May 29. http://www.sunwing.ca/mexicoadvisory.asp
2) The government of Cuba announced that all flight to and from Mexico have been canceled.
3) City officials in Mexico City announced the cancellation of almost all public events within the city as Mexico City and her people have become gripped with fear in the ongoing influenza outbreak. City officials stated they would have ceased all mass transit operations for the public but the decision was not in their hands but in the hands of the Federal Government.
4) Swine Flu AH1N1 cases have been confirmed in Israel and New Zealand.
5) Carnival Cruise Lines has canceled all cruise stops in Mexico from April 30 to May 4.
6) Thompson Travel in the UK has canceled all flights to Mexico for upcoming tourists and travelers.
7) From the CDC:

Chart: U.S. Human Cases of Swine Flu Infection as of 4/28/2009, 11:00am ET. Number of confirmed laboratory cases by state. California: 10; Kansas: 2; New York City: 45; Ohio: 1; Texas: 6. Total Case Count: 64 cases.
8) The WHO Influenza Phase Alert system remains at “4″.
9) Reports from Quintana Roo, Mexico, the home state to Cancun indicate that despite inferences from media reports that there has been no confirmed cases of the new swine influenza.
10) The Minister of Tourism in Mexico indicates that they expect a 40% loss in tourism by Friday.
11) A report from the newspaper Diario de Quintana Roo has a local health official recommending local Mexicans not to travel to points in Mexico, Central and North of Quintana Roo and the Yucatan Peninsula.
12) All major Maya Archeological sites in Quintana Roo have been ordered closed due to the influenza outbreak. It is believed that all publicly accessible archeological sites will be closed until further notice throughout Mexico. http://www.noticaribe.com.mx/cancun/2009/04/cierran_todas_las_zonas_arqueologicas_de_mexico.html
13) Airline Policy Changes Courtesy of Apple Vacations: http://www.applevacations.com/showStatic.do?command=showStaticPage&targetPage=/static/promotions/update/airline_policies.htm



04/27/09: Update

Good evening folks, this one is another serious blog in what has become a follow up to a nightmarish weekend for people across the continent and travelers with itineraries in Canada, Mexico and the United States. The business at hand is of course the Swine Influenza (Flu) AH1N1 outbreaks occurring in multiple areas of Canada, Mexico and the U.S. with a currently, potential, expanding incident in Spain, yet another in Scotland and the UK, along with suspected but unconfirmed incidents in Columbia, Israel and New Zealand. Mexico City continues to be the epicenter of the Swine Flu outbreak with 149 suspected (not all confirmed) deaths considered influenza related and over 1,995 hospitalizations for suspected flu like symptoms.

Here at Living on Isla Time we regretfully inform that we cannot provide travel advice for people concerned with whether they should or should not go to the above areas, particularly North America at this time. We’re not passing the buck but facing reality, we’re not in the business of providing medical consultations for travelers and don’t plan on starting now. As you may have ascertained the situation is considered serious by health officials worldwide and anyone with health and/ or travelers concerns to these regions should seek advice from the Center For Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), their national government and/ or local officials, and medical professionals. Please do not hesitate to contact your local physician or hospital should you be experiencing Flu like symptoms.

However, what we will try and provide is important news as available and updates for travelers as we obtain them. Please remember, we are not primarily a news site and do not update 24/7. We also call them as we see them and the information here may not necessarily be agreeable to you but the opinion is ours, we’ll try and make it worth your visit either way.

A short month ago, I was sitting in Cancun, Mexico, enjoying Mojitos after a day at Coba and a visit to Playa Del Carmen, quite frankly, I never could have suspected we would be here today discussing swine flu. Trust me, I symphathize with those with travel plans, vacations and what not in Mexico and elsewhere under these stressful travel conditions. But, please let’s not forget to think of those in Cancun, and all of Mexico, and the rest of the areas of the world facing this situation as we follow this story.

Now after that disclaimer let’s roll with what we have to date;

1) The WHO Status Report was raised one level today to a Phase 4 Alert:

2) The CDC Report: Newsworthy is the number of confirmed cases doubled today to 40 in the U.S. on the disclosure of 20 more students in a NY school testing positive.

3) Wiki Map (Courtesy of Wikipedia)

     Confirmed cases followed by death     Confirmed cases     Unconfirmed or suspected cases See also: Live map of swineflu, H1N1 live map

4) Important Links:
    WHO: http://www.who.int/en/
    CDC:  http://www.cdc.gov/
5) Airline Links: Note, many Airlines are offering adjustments, waiving rebooking fees and rescheduling for trips to Mexico and other flights.  http://www.avhome.com/airlines.html

6) News From Mexico:
    Diario de Yucatan: http://www.yucatan.com.mx/default.asp
    Novedades: http://www.novenet.com.mx/
    Milenio: http://www.milenio.com/portal/index2.php
    Por Esto: http://www.poresto.net/

7) Confirmed and Suspected Cases by Country:

8) Earlier today the Health Minister of the European Union requested travelers to avoid the U.S. and Mexico unless absolutely necessary.

9) Today, the U.S. Government requested travelers to avoid unnecessary travel to Mexico.

10) Mexico has issued special powers to President Calderon in an effort to combat the outbreak.

11) As of now, there’s no absolute travel ban for international travelers but most major airports are monitoring passengers especially those from the U.S. and Mexico.

12) There’s still no confirmed cases of Swine Flu AH1N1 in Cancun or the State of Quintana Roo.

13) Cancun, Mexico is operating as normal.

14) Schools have been closed all over Mexico until at least May 6, 2009 and most public functions in and around Mexico City have been delayed or curtailed. Rumors persist of a shut down of mass transit in Mexico City but no shutdown has occurred to our knowledge as of this time.

15) A four year old from the small town or Perote, well west of Veracruz, Mexico, is now believed to be the first victim of the new swine flu strain. The boy lived near a large local pig farm operated by U.S. and International Pork Company “Smithfield Farms, Inc.” Press reports from Mexico reported that almost 1/3 of the residents of the town came down with flu like symptoms that they blamed on the pig farm. Smithfield Farms representatives told DowJones.Inc that they found no signs of swine influenza within the farm. Swine Flu is typically transmitted between pigs but on occasion has been known to move to humans as is the situation with the current Swine Flu outbreak. http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/articles/djf500/200904271833DOWJONESDJONLINE000645_FORTUNE5.htm

16) An estimated 26 flights on average arrive daily from Mexico City to Cancun. Passengers are being monitored for symptoms of flu and are being asked to fill out a questionnaire regarding past health history and previous location.

17) All other flights are operating normally, or as normally as can be maintained given the current situation, there are reports that major travel agencies are canceling large tours to certain areas. There was also a news report of a flight canceled to Cancun from Germany this afternoon, another from Spain, and yet another from Canada. Local Hotel operators in Cancun are reporting canceled conventions and tour groups while on the Island of Cozumel, there’s reports of canceled cruise ship docking of 2500 passengers and the start of cancellations of cruise ships from the U.S. as per local officials. It is anticipated that passenger bookings on flights into Cancun and other areas of Mexico will be canceled or decrease as a result of the official statements today and the outbreak.

18) Public events are slated to be canceled in Cancun based on reports, a parade scheduled for May 1 and other coming events with public sponsorship.

19) The WHO has not recommended the closing of borders and the restriction of international travel at this time.

Signing off and safe travels…



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