Facts about "Swine Flu" as related to Los Cabos, Mexico
Concerns about A(H1N1) (aka Swine Flu) last week led some visitors to cancel upcoming trips to Los Cabos, Mexico. We at Hautter.com are still scratching our heads and asking, why? Even today, over a week after the media first sounded the hype; there are still 0 cases of Swine Flu here in Los Cabos. Not 1, not 3, not 4 (or 2,600, as in the US) but ZERO.
In fact, as The Atlanta Journal-Constitution recently reported, the Center for Disease Control's (CDC) acting director Dr. Richard Besser has stated “Most new cases of [A(H1N1)] in the United States are now caused by person-to-person transmission and not some link to Mexico.”
That's right– although A(H1N1) may have started in Mexico City (over 1,000 miles away from Los Cabos), the recently reported cases are being transmitted from person-to-person, just like regular flu, and have nothing to do with Mexico at all. Your biggest risk of obtaining A(H1N1) is from the people around you, especially if they are coughing or sneezing. Yet A(H1N1) is as easy to prevent as the common seasonal flu, and so far, it's much less deadly– only 3 deaths have been recorded in the US, and each of those victims had “many” underlying health risks, according to the CDC, that made any illness dangerous. Although sad, 3 out of 3,204, in our opinion, is not cause for panic, especially considering that approximately 36,000 Americans die each year from the ordinary seasonal influenza.
Plus, A(H1N1), which has received a lot of press for its unusual viral makeup, is relatively easy to treat. Dr. Alvaro Atilano, of INTEGRATED MEDICAL SERVICES in Los Cabos said today, “American's should not worry about traving to Cabo. In fact, AMERI-MED in Cabo San Lucas has a Quick Detection Test for A(H1N1). If a person is found to have suspected case of A(H1N1) from the test results, then the possible patient would be treated using standard anti-viral medications, such as Tamiflu or Relenza, which are readily available to medical professionals if needed to treat a confirmed case of A(H1N1).”
And to date, there are still several hundred more confirmed cases of A(H1N1) in the United States than in Mexico. (See details on this regularly-updated map http://flutracker.rhizalabs.com) California, Wisconsin, Illinois, Arizona, Texas and New York have the most number of confirmed cases. California has 191 cases alone; Illinois, 487; and Wisconsin, 384! Compare that to the number of cases in the state of Baja California Sur, where Los Cabos is located: 0!
Today, Los Cabos is better than ever, especially to those of us lucky enough to live here! We're in one of the few places in North America UNTOUCHED by this flu.
When asked if they're worried about Swine Flu in Cabo, Derrick and Anastasia Grahn (Americans who live and work full time in Cabo San Lucas) said, “Absolutely not.” Derrick went on to say, “We are actually more concerned about an upcoming trip we have planned to visit family in Wisconsin and Ohio. This will be the first time we have visited family in the US with our five month old son, who was born here in Los Cabos.”
“The odds for getting the flu are low,” Anastasia added. “Getting in an auto accident by driving a car, for example, is far riskier.”
Today, since most new cases are occurring person-to-person, you are probably safer in Los Cabos than in most of the United States. Especially considering Los Cabos' low population density and geographical isolation from large, populous cities.
And the Baja Sur State Tourism Ministry is taking special precautions to keep it that way. After thoroughly disinfecting all downtown tourist areas and shutting down schools and some offices as an early precaution, we appear to have nipped any risk in the bud. Our Ministry of Tourism now recommends NO unusual precautions whatsoever, deeming Los Cabos safe and healthy, and has discouraged any businesses from shutting down for any reason related to flu.
Furthermore, at the Los Cabos International Airport, the Secretary of Public Health (SEP) is screening passengers for signs of flu as they go in and out to make EXTRA sure that no flu enters or leaves the area. To date, this has been a successful operation– as there are still NO CASES IN LOS CABOS WHATSOEVER!
The primary ways to prevent the spread of influenza (be it A(H1N1) or the common Flu) are simple and easy to follow. If you take these precautions, you should be fine– no matter where you are:
- Stay home if you or a family member are sick.
- Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
- Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly, in hot soapy water, or use an alcohol-based hand cleanser throughout the day.
Again, unless you yourself are sick, there is still no reason to cancel a trip to Los Cabos, or to anywhere for that matter. And since many did cancel last week during the first days of fear and panic, you're actually in luck; many Los Cabos hotels, such as Villa La Estancia are offering special deals this month. Airlines are also offering discounts to encourage more people to head south.
So call your travel agent or use your favorite travel websites to book your trip today, and take advantage of Los Cabos' beautiful weather this time of year!
Interesting Los Cabos items of note:
- There will soon be 9 championship golf courses in Los Cabos
- San Jose? del Cabo now has more than 20 galleries in its historic district, which you can visit during a weekly Art Walk until the end of May, and a thriving Organic Market every Saturday morning until the end of May.
- Cabo San Lucas is spending millions to widen its main avenue and move improved utility wires underground in order to modernize its downtown and make it a more attractive walking city.
- New developments like Cabo Riviera on the East Cape are creating new resort attractions within an hour of Los Cabos.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
The World Health Organization:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
The New York Times on A(H1N1) Flu: