Mexico Confirms Just Seven Deaths From Swine Flu

The Mexican Health Secretary, José Ángel Córdova, has said that only seven deaths - out of the supposed 159 fatalities - have been confirmed as being caused by the swine flu virus.

Also, according to the Mexican newspaper El Universal, the First Minister of Mexico city, Marcelo Ebrad, said yesterday that the number of infections in the Federal District is decreasing in a slow, but sustained way.

During the outbreak there have been 2,498 cases of serious atypical pneumonia associated to possible cases of influenza that could be linked to the rogue A/1HN1 virus in Mexico.

The flu has since travelled fast, but has only caused deaths in Mexico to date, the main focus of the flu virus.

After the two cases confirmed in the UK - a newly married Scottish couple that had travelled to Mexico for their honeymoon - the Government has announced it is to deliver leaflets to every household in the next few days.

It contains information about the swine flu outbreak and how best to prevent its spread.

Authorities consider that good hygiene, like using a tissue and washing hands thoroughly, could help reducing transmission.

A Spokesman of the Department of Health said that "available scientific evidence does not support the general wearing of facemasks by those who are not ill whilst going about their normal activities".
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However, he said they are "urgently" looking into how they can increase their current stockpiles of facemasks for healthcare workers "who would come into close contact with symptomatic individuals during an influenza pandemic".

The Prime Minister Gordon Brown has also said Britain is "among the best prepared countries in the world" to deal with the outbreak.

Professor John Oxford, of Barts and the London School of Medicine, said: "The virus seems to be rather less virulent abroad and not many people have been affected yet.

"The British government has a large stock of anti-viral drugs," he added.

Nevertheless, the Conservatives have criticised the government over the national flu helpline, that was supposed to be ready early this year.

The Health Protection Agency also said it was not releasing details about any suspected cases in England.

Fourteen people have been screened after returning from Mexico or the US.

There are eight suspected cases under investigation in Wales, according to the Chief Medical Officer.

His Northern Ireland colleague, Health Minister Michael McGimpsey said that despite there being no local cases under investigation in the Province, it was likely that there would be some in Northern Ireland in due course.

See: Ten Cases Of 'Swine Flu' Test Negative


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