Spain pleads for calm after swine flu case detected

28th April 2009, Comments 0 comments

There is no need for European travellers to avoid Spain as all required measures have been taken to stem the outbreak.

MADRID – The government of Spain, where the first European case of deadly swine flu has been detected, assured its EU partners Monday that it had taken all necessary measures to stem the outbreak and pleaded for calm.

"Spain has taken all the required measures" under World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines, Spanish state secretary for EU affairs Diego Lopez said at a European Union foreign ministers' meeting in Luxembourg.

Spain's health ministry earlier confirmed that a 23-year-old man who returned from Mexico last week had contracted the disease.

A further 20 people are also "under observation" for suspected swine flu, including 10 in the northeastern region of Catalonia and in three in Andalucia in the south.

Lopez stressed the need to avoid panic and for EU nations to coordinate their response.

"There is no need to invent new formulas or procedures. There is a complete monitoring and control system," he said.

Lopez said there was no need for European travellers to avoid Spain.

"All isolation and control measures have been taken," he assured.

Earlier EU Health Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou advised against travelling to Mexico City, where the outbreak started, or other affected areas.

Elsewhere in Europe, two patients in Scotland are under observation after their return from Mexico. But four people tested for swine flu in France after recently returning from the Americas were given the all-clear by doctors.

In Mexico, the number of confirmed and suspected swine flu deaths has hit 103, according to Mexican Health Minister Jose Angel Cordova, with about 400 people in hospital and 1,614 now under observation.

The only other confirmed cases in the world have been in the United States, where 20 people have the disease and in Canada, where there are six.

Suspected cases have been reported from Israel, New Zealand, Colombia, Belgium, Brazil and Australia.

AFP / Expatica

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