Friday, May 1, 2009

Swine Flu Virus

Latest News 30 April 2009

By Valentino Lucio - Express-News At the San Antonio International Airport, it was business as usual Saturday, except for passengers traveling to and from Mexico, which is coping with a deadly outbreak of swine flu.

Several travelers from Mexico City said people back home are scared about the swine flu virus and are taking extra precautions to stay healthy. According to reports, 70 people have died in Mexico from the outbreak.

Alberto San Roman had a blue surgical mask in his pocket as he waited for his flight home to Mexico City to arrive. It was one of the precautions he is taking, including not shaking hands or visiting crowded areas.

“When you have people dying, even if it's only one or two,” said San Roman, 39, “you need to do what you can to protect yourself and your family.”

As a high school teacher, San Roman was glad the classes were canceled for students in Mexico City on Friday. He mentioned that his students seemed to be taking the warnings lightly, but hopes they use caution.

“I've talked to some of my friends who are doctors, and they told me that it's more like 150 people have died from this flu,” he said. “So people should take this seriously, and I hope my students pay attention to the warnings.”

But Jose Campos, a photographer from Mexico City, thinks the media have exaggerated the threat of the outbreak. Although he said his young children and his wife received a flu shot this year, he didn't feel the need to get vaccinated. Campos said many people back home are scared, but added that he wouldn't take any extra precautions until the number of people diagnosed with the virus increased.

“People are afraid because the media is making a lot of noise,” said Campos, 51. Even with several dozen deaths recorded in Mexico City, he said, “in a city of 23 million that's almost nothing.”

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