April 26th, 2009
07:47 AM ET

81 dead in Mexico as flu emergency goes global

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/HEALTH/04/26/swine.flu/art.swine.flu.mex.02.cnn.jpg caption="A girl in Mexico City wears a mask outside the Metropolitan Cathedral on Sunday. "]


No kissing to say hello. No large crowds. No close contact.

That's the advice of the Mexican government as more and more people die of swine flu, which has turned into a "public health emergency of international concern," according to the World Health Organization.

The WHO advised all countries to be on the lookout for "unusual" outbreaks of flu, following an emergency meeting Saturday as the seriousness of the outbreak became clear.

By Sunday, 81 deaths had been deemed "likely linked" to a deadly new strain of the virus by health authorities in Mexico. Viral testing has confirmed 20 cases, said Dr. Jose A. Cordova Villalobos, Mexico's health secretary.

In Mexico City, the massive downtown Cathedral of Mexico City was open but Masses were not scheduled. Dozens of worshippers put on masks and went inside the church anyway to pray on their own.

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Filed under: Health Care • Mexico
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. Lucia

    Hey everyone, here is an update. Most of the universites are cancelled today and tomorrow in Guadalajara, MX because there are at least one comfirmed case here and about 17 people sick. Do not get alarmed by the stats down here. Alot of people go directly go to the seguro social (the hospital) as soon as they get any symptoms resembling the swine flu many are sent right back home. We are taking alot precautions down here so this doesn't spread. My friend who just flew in from Austin to guad mentioned right when he got off the plane they gave him a mask to wear. So with God's will this flu will be past news soon.

    April 27, 2009 at 12:32 pm |
  2. Tea

    First the powers that be take down our economy Now Swine Flu. Peachy! What's next? The dollar crashes?

    April 27, 2009 at 10:40 am |
  3. Michael "C" Lorton, Virginia

    Stay healthy--if that is possible.

    April 27, 2009 at 9:22 am |
  4. Sandee Kosmo

    How do we know the swine flu started in Mexico? My daughter and many of her age 30's friends in the Denver area were really sick with a flu which included a very, very sore throat, chills, fever, inability to really do anything. She looked at your list of symptoms since she had ruled out strep throat with a swab test. She qualified on all counts. Doctors there were not aware of Swine flu a month ago.

    Could it be that a milder form started in the U.S. and mutated to a more deadly version in Mexico City? Are we tracing it in the wrong direction?
    Just a thought.

    April 27, 2009 at 7:42 am |
  5. ajx2x5

    how can 4 different flue viruses mutate into one occur naturaully? did somebody make this up in a lab?

    April 27, 2009 at 3:11 am |
  6. Linda Brown

    I am interested in how many physicians culture people who present with flu like symptoms. Are they being required now to do this? I suspect there are many more people infected than are known. We are having cut backs in our public health system in Washington state, how can they handle a large influx of cultures and ensure a quick response to a pandemic outbreak? I am very concerned.

    April 27, 2009 at 2:09 am |
  7. Andrea

    With the recent outbreak of Swine Flu, what precautions is the US goverment taking to ensure the American people that we are not allowing people from other countries into our country carrying this Flu virus? Years ago people immigrating to our country had to go through Ellis Island; nowadays anyone can fly right into one of our many airports and not be subjected to any forms of health screening.

    April 26, 2009 at 11:51 pm |
  8. brent

    To bad we only think of border inforcement when lives are at stake. Maybe Obama will look at the border problem now that we have a national emergency.

    April 26, 2009 at 11:21 pm |
  9. Mireille Ibrahim

    From some of your reports I understand that Swine Flu seems to be more sever in Mexico then the US and Canada. I am not sure how routine flu vaccinations are within Mexico, but I am wondering if the formulations within our routine flu vaccines could have developed some level of immunity from Swine Flu thus resulting in a milder infection? I understand that there may be many factors, but if there is a connection could we not decrease the severity by vaccinating with common forms of flu vaccine?

    April 26, 2009 at 10:45 pm |
  10. Annie Kate

    Hopefully if this flu is going to be more widespread and more serious than in Mexico, CDC can convince businesses to emphasize to their employees to stay home if ill instead of coming in and spreading the disease. I hope this isn't a repeat of the Great Flu of 1917-1918. If it is, then I hope medical science has advanced enough to minimize deaths from it.

    April 26, 2009 at 9:59 pm |
  11. Kelli V.

    just spoke to inlaws in mexico city – no alcohol or clorox left in stores, they feel they're not getting the full story there, didn't know 80 deaths, school cancelled to may 6, can't take kids out to parks, malls, theater, etc

    April 26, 2009 at 9:14 pm |
  12. Buster

    Think about this one. April 13th was the first out break of the swine flu.
    On April 16th Pres Obama was there. The military convoy was there days before he was. Whats to say that our people dropped a vial of the flu which we know can happen without any one knowing.....make you think?

    April 26, 2009 at 7:43 pm |
  13. Debbie

    In the 70s we had to get a swine flu vaccination at school. Will they do that again and will the vaccination keep me from getting the swine flu that is happening right now ?

    April 26, 2009 at 7:23 pm |
  14. Jerome

    I am commenting about state of the union with John King who only interviewed Caucasians guests in Nevada and other states shows how he really think, the opinion does not represent all Americans only a few in each states. At least he should interview people who are educated and informed on politics not just people who are anti-Obama. When people first began to travel by ship, some people thought if the ship went to far out it would fall off the planet. John King reflect CNN and how their views have change from reporting the fact to creating false facts based on bias views. I like CNN although most of the viewpoints are from only the Caucasian perspective. I am African American and do not agree with the people in Nevada. We as a people must work together in order to bring true change; I don't know why some news reporter goes out their way to bring about separation. Maybe they are like drug dealers who care only about the money not the lives they destroy.

    April 26, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  15. Matt

    What in the World is SWINE FLU, and why is it all of a sudden, popping up in mexico? Does this have something to do with the violence thats has been happening in mexico? and why is the media making this seem like it's the end of the world. I don't want to hear about some PIG FLU, I want to know how the Government is going to GET ME A JOB.

    Thank you

    April 26, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  16. andrew

    These are all signs form The ALL MIGHTY GOD, to abstain from the consumpton of PIGS. All 3 major religions Christianity, Judisim, And Islam, in their original HOLY BOOKS, GOD ALL MIGHTY tells all human kind , DO NOT EAT PIGS !!! Its easy as that. May GOD ALL MIGHTY forgive all humans for our sins, no mater how little WE might think that those sins are. AMEN

    April 26, 2009 at 4:02 pm |
  17. sherry stevens

    This year's influenza was resistant to Tamiflu, maybe Roche has something to do with the enormous amount of media coverage this is getting. Surely they lost alot of $ this past influenza season.

    April 26, 2009 at 2:59 pm |
  18. pamela roe

    This is really a question when I worked at Ford Motor co. in 1976-77 sometime around that time. They had a swine flu shot in which i took where did that come from and will it help now?

    April 26, 2009 at 1:39 pm |
  19. R. Turner

    There are reports of a fatality rate of the epidemic in Mexico City at almost three times the fatality rate of the spanish influenza in the early part of the 1900s. Is the comparison equally stark with other more recent flu strains? If so, is there any basis for questioning why? Is it a coincidence that, as AP is also reporting, someone who greeted President Obama at a museum in Mexico City has since died? Is there a possibility of a weaponized virus? And/or was the individual ill at the time he greeted President Obama?

    April 26, 2009 at 1:37 pm |