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Vacation Freak Out -- Cancel Trip to Mexico?

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What would YOU do?

women talking about swine flu in mexico

A mom we know is beyond worried ... her son is set to go on a senior trip to Mexico in less than two weeks. In light of the swine flu outbreak, should he stay or should he go?

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued an April 27 notice recommending that American citizens avoid all nonessential travel to Mexico at this time.

Infectious disease expert Dr. Stephen Berger, the founder and medical advisor for GIDEON, an online database used for diagnosing and treating infectious diseases, says that it's better to postpone a trip to Mexico for now. "No matter which area of the country you're visiting, you'll probably go through Mexico City or regional airports where infected people may be present, so I recommend postponing a trip there until a later date if at all possible."

If you DO travel to Mexico, he says you should take some basic safety precautions. "I would advise travelers to carry Tamiflu, avoid large gatherings, distance themselves from people with obvious respiratory symptoms, wash hands frequently, and use a mask if others in their vicinity are doing so. At the first sign of possible influenza -- cough, sore throat, fever, muscle pain, and headache -- they should seek medical assistance and adopt avoidance procedures (mask, etc.) to protect others."

U.S. Airways, United, Continental, and American Airlines are offering to waive change fees for customers with booked flights to Mexico through May 4 or May 6 due to the influenza outbreak. Cruise lines are not issuing refunds at this time. If you booked a tour package and do not have travel insurance, you might also be out of luck. Check the latest information on a daily basis. Tour operators and airlines are likely to change their refund and amendment policies as more information becomes available.

Would you send your kid on a senior trip to Mexico right now, or go on a family vacation south of the border?

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42 comments so far | Post a comment now
AM  April 28, 2009, 5:56 PM

I would NOT let my child go to Mexico right now. I heard that they have closed schools and restaurants to try to stop the flu from spreading… I also heard that the government has not given any medications to the families of the people that have died from swine flu and hospitals have turned away sick people because they are overwhelmed with patients and there was a report that a man was kicked out of an ambulance because the EMS workers thought he might have the swine flu and they didn’t want to risk getting it. …..Not to mention the fact that we have some government officials calling for a closing of the border to prevent further spreding of the disease. What would happen to the US citizens if they decided to do that? Would they be stuck in Mexico? And what if your son needed medical attention while there, not just from the flu but possibly something else? With the hospitals so overwhelmed, could your son get medical attention if he needed it? With all that’s going on there is NO way I would let my kid go to Mexico. I hope that the school can change the trip to another location or a later date.

Kristen April 28, 2009, 7:58 PM

Ok maybe I’m dumb but why on earth isn’t the school cancelling the trip? I would NOT let my kid go.

Nas April 28, 2009, 9:52 PM

The trip should definitely be cancelled!

Rachel April 28, 2009, 10:23 PM

Um, NO ONE should be traveling to Mexico not only because of the Swine Flu but because of the drug violence. DON’T RISK EITHER ONE!

Justamom3 April 28, 2009, 11:05 PM

The school is irresponsible if they do not cancel this trip or change the location destination. I’m pretty easy going but my child would not be going to Mexico!

Debbie Ingram April 28, 2009, 11:11 PM

It may not be an option the school may cancel it for them. I saw where Air Canada cancelled all flights in & out of Mexico until June 1st. In another week American airline companies may do the same.

Maria April 29, 2009, 1:16 AM

No. Plan an alternate trip if possible. If it were my child, I would not hesitate turning him down. Even if it meant losing out on an opportunity, because they’ll be other ones later on.

Anonymous April 29, 2009, 1:19 AM

Swine flu or not, why would anybody want to visit that dirty country?

Amy April 29, 2009, 7:52 AM

I think people are missing the bigger picture here. This is not a fatal disease. Yes, it *can* kill, just like the regular flu, but it’s treatable with Tamiflu and it’s preventable. People are panicing, looking ridiculous with those stupid masks, and all it really takes is washing your hands, people!

I don’t think the school will allow the trip to happen - perhaps it’ll get postponed until the hysteria is over.

birdsfly April 29, 2009, 10:09 AM

@Amy- yes the risk to her son is low if he contracts the disease, but he could then infect at risk people such as babies or the eldery, in which case Tamiflu might not be helpful.

Julie G April 29, 2009, 2:23 PM

If the media reported all the daily influenza cases in the U.S., including the 36,000 annual deaths, no one would even go out of their homes. If the media reported every death from auto accidents, plastered it all over the news, people would not put their children in cars. Media hype is making folks crazy!! No reports of flu in Cabo, PV, Mazatlan, Acapulco. If LA had a break out of flu with deaths (as it does), would you cancel your flight to Seattle?

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