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Will Swine FLU affect future travel?

Travel Forums General Talk Will Swine FLU affect future travel?

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11. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 7y

Quoting Blinq

I just heard on the news this evening that the 23 month old child who died from swine flu in the US was Mexican. Apparently the child had been brought to the US for treatment, but had been transferred from Houston to the hospital where she died after her condition deteriorated.

So we now appear to have a virus which is selective in who it kills because although there have been many infections worldwide, only Mexicans have died from it so far.

The key words there are "so far". There are several hypotheses as to why those outside of Mexico have been able to recover. The three leading thoughts are: 1) (Speaking strictly for the US) Those who have been diagnosed with the H1N1 virus are treated immediately with a combination of Tamiflu (oseltamivir) and Relenza (zanamavir) antiviral medications, 2) bolstered immunity due to previous exposures to other swine and human strains of influenza and 3) the Mexican population was subject to concentrated pockets of the virus for a lengthy period of time with most not seeking medical attention. Even when treated, the (aforementioned) antivirals were not readily available to them. Again, as mentioned, they are just the theories the health officials are postulating.

Quoting MikeGavino

I've already read that there's a first casualty in the US. And its a kid that hails in Texas. This is getting scary!

It's only scary if you allow it to be. As Peter stated above, "Apparently there are between 250,000-500,000 flu related deaths each year - that's the regular flu."

As an example of fear for no reason:

Egypt slaughters pigs to stop flu - BBC

[ Edit: Corrected virus designation. ]

12. Posted by hotelback (First Time Poster 1 posts) 7y

This swine flu thing makes everyone crazy...the mere fact that it is being treated or I mean being fast remedied, there should no more be "scary news" about this thing to calm down the chaotic public. Even an ordinary flu may be considered as "swine thing"...really scary...

13. Posted by Erik85 (Respected Member 274 posts) 7y

Yeah there's a few things to look for in a pandemic:
- a vaccine or medication to limit its affects
- human-to-human transmission
- being spread beyond containment (ie more than 1 area or country)
- if the virus doesn't get any weaker upon 2nd/3rd/4th etc generations (ie. after it being transmissed to a person, it is just as dangerous or gets stronger, and again in next person)

basically out of those you can give it 2 and a half ticks (no vaccine, but antivirals make it much less deadly, and the last point hasn't been proven yet). If it does prove to stay just as dangerous upon further generations of the virus then there will be a huge cause for concern.

However, since many developed countries have access to medication (and governments are pumping out production as reserves incase) to significantly decrease the potency of the virus, they will probably be alright in the end.

As for developing countries....:S

14. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 7y

Quoting Blinq

I just heard on the news this evening that the 23 month old child who died from swine flu in the US was Mexican. Apparently the child had been brought to the US for treatment, but had been transferred from Houston to the hospital where she died after her condition deteriorated.

Last evening, our news reported the story a bit differently. Three weeks ago the family, who are from southern Mexico, arrived in Brownsville, Texas. They were visiting family there when the child became ill. It is stated that the child was not sick upon arrival in the US for that visit. Ultimately, the child was transferred to Houston for treatment. The video of the newscast is on the right hand side of the page toward the top:

WATCH: Swine Flu Claims First US Victim

15. Posted by GregW (Travel Guru 2635 posts) 7y

Back on the topic of the flu's impact on travel, I have heard from a friend that a conference next week was cancelled due to the outbreak. In some parts of Mexico sporting events and tourist sites have been shut to try and keep people from gathering in large crowds where the flu can spread quickly.

IF things worsen, I would imagine that while countries won't impose a complete travel ban, there could be travel restrictions, tourist sites and other places of gathering could be closed, which wouldn't make a trip some place very interesting.

That being said, I was in Toronto during SARS in 2003, and things were no where near as bad as was reported on the news. While some hospitals were shut and there were strict controls on entering hospitals during this time, for the most part everything else went on as usual. People were still out in bars and restaurants, and there was still lots to do. Influenza obviously is much more contagious than SARS was, though.

I guess you don't really know until you know.

Greg

16. Posted by Blinq (Inactive 341 posts) 7y

I heard on BBC News last night that a vaccine is expected to become available in about four months time after which the Media's furore with the subject will hopefully fade away.

Even though ordinary influenza kills half a million people worldwide every year, that subject seemingly doesn't warrant any mention in the Press these days. Therefore I'm beginning to get the impression that swine flu is being used as a subterfuge in order to steer readers to Media sites in order to increase ratings. Higher ratings translate into more advertising revenue needless to say.

17. Posted by cindyjoe (Inactive 23 posts) 7y

The swine flu thing is a real cause of concern for many people across the world, especially those who are considering travel but at the end of the day, one has to be cautious and selective in making choices on the basis of such a widespread phenomenon. Although it hasn't risen much on the scale of casualties which is a positive, yet an assessment is due for every thinking traveler.

18. Posted by Clanger (Respected Member 202 posts) 7y

The world is over populated as it is...a good dose of flu will out the weedy amongst the human population!!

Seriously, pack your bags and get off on your travels, and don't worry about what's going on in Mexico...you are more likely to get hit by a bus than die from the flu.

19. Posted by Blinq (Inactive 341 posts) 7y

Quoting Clanger

Seriously, pack your bags and get off on your travels, and don't worry about what's going on in Mexico...you are more likely to get hit by a bus than die from the flu.

Well said!

20. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 7y

Quoting Blinq

Quoting Clanger

Seriously, pack your bags and get off on your travels, and don't worry about what's going on in Mexico...you are more likely to get hit by a bus than die from the flu.

Well said!

I agree. Tonight's news reported that the outbreaks of the flu have slowed. Whether you trust the news or not... But, life does not stop because there is disease in the world. Wash your hands.