THE MEXICO TOURISM BOARD & THE MINISTRY OF TOURISM REPORT THAT NO TOURISTS CURRENTLY IN MEXICO HAVE BEEN INFECTED BY THE H1N1 INFLUENZA VIRUS

Mexico City, Mexico; April 29, 2009- In spite of the health crisis resulting from the phase 4 Swine Flu (H1N1 influenza) detected in Mexico as well as the travel alerts issued by the U.S. and other countries, the World Health Organization (WHO) does not contemplate the closing of borders or restrictions of trips.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is recommending that people “avoid all nonessential travel to Mexico,” but at no moment have they enforced a ban on travel to our country. Health authorities are suggesting that tourists should follow the recommendations provided by the Ministry of Health and international health authorities, in order to prevent the infection and spread of the virus.

Mexico’s Minister of Health, José Ángel Córdova, confirmed that over the next few days, the government will have access to instant rapid result testing detecting the virus in public health centers, to those who have flu-like symptoms.

The Mexican Government has also taken aggressive preventive measures that are directly in line with those recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) for this level of crisis. Some of these actions are:
– Massive distribution of face masks in Mexico City by members of the military.
– Probability of public and metro transportation service suspension until the situation is under control
– Recommendation of not assisting to large, conglomerated, public events and to keep a distance of 6.5 feet when in company of someone
– Expedite the entrance of antiviral medication into the country which will be managed under controlled prescription
– Preparing the call centers with proper information to attend, orient and inform the public ( 1-800-44-Mexico)

As of now, the WHO has 64 confirmed cases of Influenza H1N1 in the USA and 26 in Mexico. The ones in Mexico have been localized in Mexico City (17 cases), the State of Mexico (7 cases), Oaxaca (1 case) and Veracruz (1 case). To date, no cases have been confirmed in any of the major beach destinations.

The CDC in Atlanta said that there are two antiviral drugs to which the swine influenza is susceptible; these are now being used successfully in the treatment of people infected in the United States and Mexico.
When asked about the position of the tourism sector, the Secretary of Tourism, Rodolfo Elizondo, expressed that the industry is working with federal authorities to confront this health crisis in a coordinated manner. “We have launched a communication strategy in order to keep the industry and tourists in the country informed on preventive measures.”
In addition, Oscar Fitch, CEO of the Mexico Tourism Board (MTB), said that “all offices of the MTB abroad are ensuring that both business partners and tourists who plan to travel to Mexico have all required official information.”

It is essential to the Mexican government that all tourists have accurate and timely information on the current situation. People arriving or departing the country must be aware of all the information issued by the health authorities. It is important to know that medical teams have been deployed to conduct questionnaires to passengers about their health and any symptoms of influenza so they can be sent to receive medical attention.

About the Mexico Tourism Board
The Mexico Tourism Board (MTB) brings together the resources of federal and state governments, municipalities and private companies to promote Mexico’s tourism attractions and destinations internationally. Created in 1999, the MTB is Mexico’s tourism promotion agency, and its participants include members of both the private and public sectors. The MTB has offices throughout North America, Europe, Japan and Latin America. For more information on destinations and online trip bookings please go to www.visitmexico.com .

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