Spain listed as high risk for swine flu

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The French federal office of public health listed Great Britain, Spain and Malta as European countries with the highest risk of infection.

Paris -- Swine flu is spreading all over the world and showing no signs of stopping. It has now turned into a gamble to fly to many of the countries that usually make popular holiday destinations.
Phase six of the pandemic alert was announced on the 11 June by the World Health Organisation, meaning the risk of being infected is still high around the world but the virus has become no more dangerous for the health.

The Federal Office of Public Health in France have warned the regions with the highest risk of infection are: the whole American continent (North America, Central America, South America and the Caribbean), Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Japan, the Philippines, Brunei, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Israel, Great Britain, Spain, Cyprus, Malta, and Palestinian territories.

This may mean tourists’ arrivals in Spain may drop more than the 10-percent predicted by Spain’s industry and tourism ministry.

The number of Spain’s tourists is on the decline as there have been less British visitors, Spain's main source of foreign visitors, due to drop in the value of the pound and severe recession.

The number of foreign tourists who visited Spain fell 11.4 percent during the first half of 2009 over the same time last year to 23.6 million.

The tourism sector accounts for about 11 percent of Spain's jobs and gross domestic product, with the bulk of the industry's income generated in Spain's ageing "sun and beach" destinations that dot its southern coast.

La Dernière Heure / AFP / Expatica

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