Two issues are causing people concern over travel to Mexico: H1N1 Flu (formerly known as Swine Flu)and increased violence related to drug cartels and gangs. In this article, we will attempt to give you the facts and our view of these situations.
First, let’s be clear: you should not go to Mexico if you are overly anxious about these issues. When studying abroad, you will encounter different challenges and cultural adjustments. You always want to pick a destination where you feel comfortable so you can minimize the anxiety and maximize the educational and fun elements of the program. If you are already registered for a program in Mexico, here are your options:
- Go ahead as planned
- Monitor the situation and decide in a few weeks
- Delay your trip
- Change destination
- Cancel trip
We suggest that you read the articles and links that we have included below instead of relying on news provided on television, we are amazed at the amount of factually incorrect reporting that is being done during this crisis.
Rather than reinvent the wheel, we’ll point you toward the best places to get information from the three best sources.
AmeriSpan’s Latest Update: As of May 7, 2009
There are no “Travel Warnings” to Mexico but there are two travel alerts:
Has some of the best information on facts and figures.
Observations & Comments
We have had ongoing communications with all of our schools in Mexico. From the start, they have all been pro-active on this matter delivering students Dos and DON’Ts and information on symptoms and doctors to go to if they show the symptoms. As of this date, no study abroad students at our schools have tested positive and one AmeriSpan student decided to leave Mexico early.
- Of the cases outside Mexico, most are milder than other strains of Flu.
- Remember about 36,000 Americans die each year from complications related to other strains of the Flu.
- It seems the biggest risk is not doing anything and most of the deaths in Mexico were the result of waiting too long before seeing their doctors and initial mis-diagnosis by their doctor.
- Our schools report virtually no cases in their cities – Guanajuato, Morelia, San Miguel, etc.
- Mexico has taken steps to discourage gatherings of people closing workplaces, theaters, restaurants and public schools through next Tuesday (May 5). UPDATE – all these restrictions have been lifted
- You do not get this Flu from eating pork or food. It is passed by coughing on people, passing germs, etc. Washing hands and avoiding large gatherings of people substantially reduce the risk of getting the flu.
- The violence related to drugs and gangs is mostly in border cities, not in cities like Oaxaca, Morelia, Guanajuato and other locations where most of our schools are located.