Yes, We Have No Swine Flu at Lake Chapala!

May 6, 2009

Yes, We Have NO SWINE FLU !

Hi Everyone. I’ve been getting a lot of e mails lately (as you might expect) about Swine Flu in our area.

Are we being careful? Yes, of course just like you probably are in the USA, depending upon just where you live.

Just so you know,  preliminary testing of 18 people suspected of being infected with the swine flu virus in the state of Jalisco (where Guadalajara and Lake Chapala are located) has proved negative, according to the Mexican State Health Secretary.

Arrivals at the Guadalajara bus station and airport in the past two days identified all but one of the 18 people suspected of having the swine flu. Just one person needed hospitalization.

Just to be on the safe side the Universidad de Guadalajara decided Saturday to suspend classes on Monday and Tuesday at its high school and university campuses. Classes will go ahead at all other public schools in the state administered by the Jalisco Education Department (SEP).

Officials in Jalisco say they have identified just 18 people in the state with flu-like symptoms who may be infected with the swine flu virus.

They are isolated in their homes, and are receiving medical attention except for a 47-year-old man from the neighboring state of Nayarit is being treated in a private hospital. Authorities are waiting for test results to determine if any of those tested have the swine flu..

Mexican Health Secretary Jose Angel Cordova said the outbreak “still hasn’t spread across the entire country” and that reports of flu cases from some states have proven to be erroneous.

Apparently confirmed swine flu cases in Mexico are restricted to Mexico City, and the states of Estado de Mexico, San Luis Potosi, Baja California and Oaxaca none of which are near us here in the Guadalajara – Lake Chapala area.

As you probably know by now the World Health Organization (WHO) says the outbreak has the potential to become the first influenza pandemic in 41 years. The flu combines genetic material from pigs, birds and humans in a way scientists have never seen before.

Strangely, all the cases in the United States are in young people, whereas in Mexico,  the virus has infected almost exclusively the 20-50 year-old age group.

President Felipe Calderon gave health workers special powers to enter and inspect private homes, test inhabitants for the virus and isolate them if necessary.

In Mexico City, its suburbs and San Luis Potosi, (not near our area) all schools will remain closed until at least May 6 when things will be re-evaluated.

Events expected to attract large crowds have been cancelled in an abundance of cauction.

Most public buildings, including libraries and museums have taken the decision to close their doors and theaters have cancelled performances. While all the closures have so far been voluntary, President Calderon has given the government powers to order the cancellation of public events as needed.

Late on Saturday, Catholic leaders cancelled Sunday masses at all churches in Mexico City.

Religious services will go ahead in Jalisco and other states, but worshippers will be omitting the usual  fellowship exhibition of warmly shaking hands with each other in a certain part of the service as would normally occur.

Jalisco Governor Emilio Gonzalez to this point has not ordered schools to close or the restriction of other public events as of press time.

However, the Universidad de Guadalajara announced on Saturday that it will suspend all classes at both its high school and graduate campuses on Monday, April 27 and Tuesday, April 28.

Clinics of the Instituto Mexicano de Seguro Social (IMSS) in many Mexican states, including Jalisco, are extending their opening hours and will also attend to people without coverage (including foreigners) who present flu-like symptoms.  Authorities urge anyone with flu symptoms to visit a doctor immediately.

According to Mexican health officials, the country has sufficient stocks of antivirals in the case of a widespread emergency. The World Health Organization states  that the virus is susceptible to the antivirals oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and zanamivir (Relenza).

I know of ZERO cases of swine flu at Lake Chapala.

But, as a precaution the government closed their own offices and the public schools and canceled the Cinco de Mayo celebrations which in my opinion was major overkill.

The government offices I heard will reopen today May 6, 2009. The schools are closed I think until next week.

As I understand it hundred of folks die each year in the USA of the regular seasonal flu. Of course it’s good to be cautious, but I think the response has been out of proportion to the risk, but I certainly am one who believes in being prepared.

  • Dutch

    Sid, according to a recent news article about the Swine Flu, there were about 36,000 deaths in the USA attributed to various flu infections last year (2008). There has been very little news coverage regarding that fact, either last year or this year to date…and certainly no panic – except in the Media regarding the Swine version. Maybe it’s due to the name?…;o). I agree with your opinion that the response has been out of proportion to the risk, and will be returning Lakeside for our annual “Rainy Season” visit.

  • Sid Grosvenor

    Hi Dutch, Thanks for the update. Things here seem to be totally back to normal.

    Siempre tu amigo, Sid

  • Dayanara

    You couldn’t pay me to ingroe these posts!

  • Sid Grosvenor

    Hi Dayanara, Thanks. Tu amigo, Sid

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