Swine Flu Epidemic: Precautions to Take

An outbreak of swine flu has been reported in Mexico and particularly in the capital, Mexico City and the state of San Luis Potosi north of Mexico City.
This H1N1 type A influenza is transmitted according to today’s knowledge, by droplets in exhaled air, especially during sneezing, saliva or feces.


The incubation period is one week. The virus is destroyed when cooked at more than 70 degrees Celsius. Clinical symptoms are those usually observed during winter flu epidemics namely fever, diffuse pain, fatigue, nasal catarrh, cough… To date there has been no record of human-to-human transmission outside Mexico but such cases may be thought to occur at any time. Many countries have taken measures to control the arrivals of aircraft from affected areas.

The virus is so far susceptible to Oseltamivir (Tamiflu®) and Zanamivir (Relenza®). This treatment should be taken on prescription and medical recommendations. Inconsiderate intake of these substances could lead to resistance of the virus in the medium term and make treatment more difficult.

Recommendations to follow

  1. Delay any travel that would not be necessary. A deterioration of the situation could lead to drastic restrictions on international travel.

2. For people living in Mexico, follow local recommendations scrupulously:

  • Avoid moving to public gatherings if presence is not essential
  • Avoid moving in rural areas
  • Wear masks when travelling outdoors or in contact with a sick person
  • Wash your hands very frequently, especially before meals
  • Consult immediately as soon as symptoms appear

Anyone who has been returning from Mexico for less than 10 days and who notices symptoms should consult immediately, specifying their travels.

When you stay in Mexico, consider taking out travel insurance, which is essential to be better reimbursed in case of a glitch.

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