Swine flu: Report from Mexico
- April 27, 2009 3:35 PM |
- By Your Voice
Submitted by Yvon Loiselle
About: I'm a teacher in a private school in the city of Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico's city of industry.
My report: Last night, the state's sub-secretary of health, along with several top authorities on epidemiology did a panel-style report for citizens of my state. As of today schools across the country from nursery/daycare through elementary, middle, "prepa" (high) and universities are closed until May 6th.
This decision was made by the state governor, José Natividad González Parás, on Sunday, April 26th.
The economic implications go far, since parents have nowhere to leave their children and many must make the decision to stay home, despite the possible penalty of being docked pay.
Theatres, sports stadiums and other "gathering" venues are closed to try and stem the outbreak in our state of Nuevo Leon. Though there is no mandatory quarantine, citizens are being asked to remain at home, rather than go out into the public. This said, private enterprises are still open and office workers are still currently working.
Pandemic prevention education is being shown on television to wash hands with soap and water, use a surgical mask if possible, (though we are currently experiencing supply shortage in masks) and to stay away from areas where people gather. Airports and bus terminals are supplying masks and all travelers are being asked to fill out questionnaires about their current health. Anyone presenting symptoms is asked to return home, see a doctor or go to the hospital.
It would be interesting to note that this coming Friday is the start of an extended holiday for schools (both private and public) in which classes were already to be suspended until May 6th. This might be seen as good timing on behalf of the Health Secretariat. They figure 7-10 days might break the cycle.
At this time, Monterrey does not have any significant number of swine flu-related deaths. One woman from Escobedo, a bedroom community just outside of Monterrey, died, though there are still questions about the exact cause of her death. Blood tests will confirm this.
At this time, it feels like a forced extended holiday in this warm weather, with the sun shining. Not a ghost town at this time, but it's quite a concern.
Are you in Mexico or are you or someone you know affected by swine flu? Send us your report.
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