WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. government plans to issue a travel warning later on Monday urging Americans to avoid all “nonessential” trips to Mexico because of an outbreak of swine flu, a U.S. official said.
Swine flu has killed 103 people in Mexico and has spread to the United States. Spain has reported one case of the virus, the first to be confirmed in Europe.
“There will be a travel warning urging Americans to avoid all nonessential travel to Mexico because of the swine flu,” said a U.S. official, who spoke on condition he not be named as the warning has not yet been officially announced.
It is likely to be announced by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, although the State Department will also carry details on its Web site, the official said.
Over the weekend, the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City announced that it would suspend all visa and nonemergency services for U.S. citizens this week due to the current outbreak of the H1N1 flu virus.
“These are precautionary measures only, taken to best assure the well-being of our clients and staff,” said the embassy message.
It also urged travellers to comply with suggestions by Mexican health officials and “be alert to good health and sanitation practices.”
While no one outside of Mexico has died, pandemic fears have been raised because the flu appears able to move quickly between humans.
(Reporting by Sue Pleming and Andrew Quinn; Editing by Will Dunham)
Mon Apr 27, 2009 3:26pm BST