Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

SWINE FLU: The latest developments around the world

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The death toll sits at 159, most of them suspected cases, and all in Mexico.

Confirmed cases in Canada rose to 13 (four in Nova Scotia, four in Ontario, three in B.C., two in Alberta). In Mexico, there were 2,498 suspected and confirmed cases as of Tuesday. Sixty-eight cases have been confirmed in the U.S. (45 in New York City, 13 in California, six in Texas, two in Kansas and one in Ohio, one in Indiana); 11 in New Zealand, two in Spain, two in Scotland and two in Israel.

Public Health Agency of Canada issued an alert advising Canadians against nonessential travel to Mexico. Canada's largest travel company, Montreal-based Transat AT, recalled employees and customers in Mexico and postponed further flights there until June, while Sunwing Vacations postponed departures for Mexico until May 29; Sunquest cancelled tours in Mexico until June 4.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration declared a public health emergency and 12 million doses of Tamiflu was to be delivered to various states. Non-essential travel to Mexico has been discouraged and arriving travellers questioned at Mexico border.

Some schools were closed in New York City, Texas, California, South Carolina, Connecticut and Ohio.

The World Health Organization raised the alert to Phase 4 of 6, noting disease spreads easily but isn't pandemic. European Union health commissioner urged Europeans to postpone nonessential travel to U.S. and Mexico. Hong Kong and South Korea warned against travel to parts of Mexico.

Mexico suspended all schools until May 6. In Mexico City, surgical masks were given to the public, venues closed and public events cancelled. The president assumed new powers to isolate infected people, while the World Bank loaned Mexico more than $200 million. A leading Mexican business group estimated that cancelled events and closures of movie theatres, nightclubs and other establishments is costing Mexico City at least US$57 million a day.

Wall Street rebounded slightly after world markets fell due to worry that outbreak could derail economic recovery. Oil prices fell to nearly $49 a barrel Tuesday amid fears the spread of the flu would further undermine demand by cutting travel.

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 29, 2009 A5

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