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  • 4/28/2009

UK warns against travelling to Mexico after swine flu outbreak 

types of flu

London, April 28, -The British Foreign Office warned against all but essential travels to Mexico following confirmation of the first two swine flu cases in Scotland. 

Iain and Dawn Askham, a couple from Polmont, near Falkirk, were identified to be inflicted by the deadly disease after retuning from Mexico, where the swine flu is believed to have claimed more than 150 lives.

New Foreign Office travel advice also said that Britons visiting or residing in Mexico should consider leaving.


"Travellers should consult a doctor immediately if they show signs of flu-like symptoms," said the Foreign Office statement.

"British Nationals should continue to follow local advice on precautions to take to avoid exposure to the influenza," it added.

Cases of swine flue have also been confirmed in the US and Spain as the World Health Organization said that it was too late to contain the fatal sickness, raising its alert to the level four, two steps short of declaring a pandemic.

man with mask

Health Secretary Alan Johnson said UK preparations were going on for the last five years to cope with a flu pandemic.

He said the government proposed to use its stockpile of anti-viral drugs to treat patients showing symptoms of the disease, should the virus start spreading in the UK.

"If a new pandemic does start as a result of this outbreak in Mexico and the United States, we can't make it go away,” England's Chief Medical Officer Sir Liam Donaldson said.

The condition of the Scottish couple, being treated at Monk lands Hospital in Airdrie, was reported to be improving. They were said to be not particularly ill.

Scottish Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon said that the threat to the public remains low.

Professor Steve Field, chairman of the Royal College of Physicians, said people in the UK were "perfectly safe at the moment", and did not need to start wearing facemasks or stop eating pork.

An ongoing online poll carried out by the Guardian newspaper found opinion divided over the health threat; with 42.2 percent believing it was spreading “like wildfire” while 57.8 percent said it was so far just media hype.


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