CUT THROUGH THE HYPE As usual, the media, especially the cable news channels have been working
diligently to raise their ratings by scaring the public. You have
probably seen the word "Mexico" on your TV screen so many times
to scary music, catch phrases and flashy graphics, your
head is spinning. What you may not know is just how the Swine Flu
scare really affects you and your travel plans to Cancun.
Here we present you only with the facts. How you use them is up to
Number of Reported Cases of Swine Flu in Cancun: 7 Number of People in Quintana Roo Who Don't Have Swine Flu:
Number of People who Died from Influenza in the USA last year:
56,000 Number of People who Die from Influenza Worldwide Each Year:
500,000 Number of Confirmed Deaths Worldwide from Swine Flu: 79 Number of Confirmed Cases in the USA: 5123 Number of Confirmed Cases in Mexico: 3648 Number of People in Mexico who Don't have Swine Flu: 110
Million Percentage of Municipalities in Mexico With No
Swine Flu: 89.4% Number of Confirmed Cases in Canada: 496 Number of People Worldwide Estimated to Have Regular Flu: 1
Billion Number of Confirmed Cases of Swine Flu Worldwide: 9,830 % of Population who have had Swine Flu in Cancun: .0001%
% of Population with Swine Flu in Wisconsin: .001% (10 Times
World Health Organization,
Salud (Mexican CDC) and
CURRENT STATUS OF SWINE FLU IN MEXICO
The Mexico swine flu scare has passed. All the major countries,
WHO and the European Union have issued the all clear for travel to
Mexico by dropping any warning or ban against travel to Mexico.
Cruise lines such as Carnival and Royal Caribbean have already announced
their returns to Mexico, as have major UK tour operators like Thompson
and Thomas Cook, Canadian airlines such as Air Canada, and international
airlines from countries like Ecuador, Argentina, and Switzerland. They
have done so because swine flu is on the decline in Mexico, while
spreading widely throughout the USA (which has many more cases of swine
flu than Mexico) and Canada.
The swine flu has turned out to be no worse than the regular seasonal
flu, and has never been found in many of Mexico's tourist resorts such
as Cozumel, Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, and Zihuatenejo. Cancun had
a few cases in late April, but no more have surfaced since then in a
city of 600,000 people. As people realized that they had more
chance of catching it in their own countries than Mexico, and that even
if they got it, they were no more at risk than a regular old run of the
mill flu bug, the public outcry brought the governments to remove their
The only difference now between Mexico before the scare and Mexico now
is the lack of tourism. Although it is steadily increasing back to
normal, the economy in Mexico has taken a beating from the character
assassination of the mass media and fearful governments, despite never
actually having any swine flu in most Mexican resort towns, and a 100%
recovery rate among the few tourists that have contracted H1N1, usually
in a day or two like the regular flu. The flu bug is very rare in
Mexico's resort communities, and has been non-lethal. Tourists
have known for a while that there was more risk of being struck by
lightning than dying from swine flu, but now the governments have
obtained the political cover they need to do what the WHO has been
saying all along.
FACT VS. FICTION - THE BASICS OF SWINE FLU
Swine Flu is milder and less dangerous than the regular
seasonal flu that everyone has had at one time or another.
13,000 people so far this year in the USA have died of the regular
old seasonal flu. 6 have died from swine flu, all with severe
underlying health problems. It is
estimated that approximately 1 Billion people worldwide suffer from
the regular flu every year, and up to 50 million people in the USA
alone. So far 9,000 have had swine flu worldwide. The US
Government has even announced that swine flu is
not worse than the regular flu. You are more likely to die
from a lightning strike than swine flu.
Despite the international isolation of Mexico during this outbreak,
there are nearly
cases of swine flu in the USA than in Mexico. The
resort communities of Mexico have been almost completely
without cases of swine flu, but have had their economies devastated
by the fear created by the media and governments with their
unwarranted travel warnings. In Mexico City, with over
55% of all cases in Mexico, .0004% (4 ten-thousandths of one percent) of
the people have had swine flu, way less in all other areas of Mexico.
Cruise ships run up and down the US and Canada coastlines, where
of cases of swine flu exist while boycotting Mexican port towns like
Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, Cozumel and Costa Maya where there has yet to
be a single case of swine flu confirmed. It is cited that 72
people in Mexico have died from swine flu in a population of 110 million
people, 60 million of whom live in poverty, as an example of why Mexico
is scary - think about the
real reasons behind this. Then consider that up to 500,000
people worldwide are estimated to die from the regular seasonal flu
every year. 79 people have died from swine flu. The hype
surrounding this is crazy - the facts speak for themselves. To us,
swine flu is not news. It's not even something we would take into
consideration when deciding where to travel, and certainly not something
we'd worry about during our vacation. The WHO has always said that
no rationale for travel restrictions, and the Pan American Health
Organization (PAHO) says it's
safe to travel in Mexico. Too bad in the
media-hype fearmongering, few people are listening.
Q: I'm scared. Should I cancel my trip?
A: We suggest reading the Myth-Busters below before making any
decision. You should make the best decision for you. Right
now, in our personal opinion (as well as the opinion of the
World Health Organization) we see no reason to cancel a trip to
Cancun because there have only been 7 cases in a city of nearly
600,000 people (most cities in the USA have more than that now), and
experts agree that swine flu has proven to be less dangerous than the regular old seasonal flu in any case. If you don't
worry about getting the regular flu when on vacation (we don't), it
doesn't make sense to worry about swine flu, but if you still want to
some of the airlines and hotels are offering you the ability to
reschedule or a few are even letting you cancel, although most have now
returned to their regular cancellation policies with the dropping of the
travel warnings. Talk with your
provider to see what they offer in terms of flexibility.
Q: What if I come to Cancun and get Swine Flu?
A: The odds of this are miniscule. There have been only
confirmed cases of swine flu in Cancun or the Riviera Maya. If you were to get it, every hotel has a doctor on
call, and the hospitals are stocked with Tamiflu, but usually it will just go away on its own like any flu bug.
Symptoms are basically the same as the regular flu that everyone has
This is nothing like the bird flu. Of course, 7 people in a
city of 600,000 people makes this chance very remote in any case.
If you stay at Secrets, Dreams, Royal, or El Dorado resorts, you will
actually get three free vacations if you contract swine flu while
staying at their hotels - that's how safe it is here for tourists in
Q: If I come to Cancun, will restaurants, bars, etc be open?
Mexico looks like a ghost town on television.
A: This was Mexico City when the scare first broke - it was
never like that in Cancun, and Mexico City is open as normal too now
that the flu has been shown to be less dangerous and less contagious
than the regular seasonal flu. Mexico City is 1,100 miles from
Cancun (about the entire north-south dimension of the USA).
In Cancun, everything is open and running as normal. No
disruptions at all to your vacation that we can see. All
restaurants, bars, tours, night clubs, etc are running like normal.
The only real difference is that there are now fewer tourists due to the
scare. Mexicans are going on about business as normal. No
masks, no deserted streets. Just fun in the sun.
Q: I heard that Cancun shut down the Mayan Ruins due to swine
flu. Is that true?
A: The ruins were closed for about a week, but they are all
open now as usual.
Q: Is there a reason to visit Mexico during this time?
Maybe I should reschedule.
A: Other than this being a great time of year in the Mexican
Caribbean, and that there is no reason not to, there are some great
deals to be had on hotels and airfares right now.
Funjet is offering some incredible deals. Apple Vacations is
offering discounts of up to 70%. Spirit Airlines is offering $8.00
airfares, some hotels are offering to pay your airfare or give you free
or low-cost upgrades to a suite. You can save a bundle by booking
your vacation this month. Secrets and Dreams resorts are even
offering a flu-free guarantee where if you get swine flu, they'll give
you three free vacations!
MYTH #1 - SWINE FLU IS RAMPID IN CANCUN
Contrary to what you may have read in Media reports, there have only
ever been 7 confirmed cases of swine flu in Cancun. There has still been no swine
flu detected in Cozumel, Playa del Carmen, or the Riviera Maya. It was
only a matter of time, we suppose, as it had already spread throughout almost
all of North America and much of Europe when the 7 cases happened. See this handy
swine flu map,
put out by the WHO and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). It shows the
confirmed cases so far. Compare this to the 707 cases in Illinois
or the 766 cases in Wisconsin
alone. 7 cases of the flu in a city of 600,000 people, and 11
cases in a state of over 1.1 million people is hardly an epidemic, and
the people of Quintana Roo are not at all concerned. Keep in mind
that the swine flu is
no worse than a regular case of the flu. You can catch the flu anywhere you go, at any time,
and there is almost certainly more outbreak of swine flu in your state,
town, or perhaps even school, than there is in Cancun.
MYTH #2 - IF I TRAVEL TO MEXICO, I'LL GET SWINE FLU
The World Health Organization is still advising against any travel
restrictions to Mexico, but the political reality of some governments is
causing them not to listen.
See Update Here. There is likely swine flu in or around your hometown, but only
7 cases in Cancun, so the way we figure it you likely have more chance of
getting it at home than here. If you were to get it, you wouldn't
feel it until you got home to your own bed, and it is
no worse than the regular flu, which probably everyone reading this
has had at one time or another. It would not affect your vacation,
unless you had a very long stay. Keep in mind that there are now
many more cases of swine flu in the USA than in Mexico.
MYTH #3 - I WILL BE MUCH SAFER IN THE USA THAN IN MEXICO
Keep in mind that
there are currently 5123 confirmed cases of swine flu in the USA and
3648 confirmed cases in Mexico.
the Report. The combined population of the two countries is
415 million people. In Cancun, there have been 7 cases of the
flu in a city of 600,000 people. That's a .0001% (One-Ten-Thousandths
of a Percent) chance. If you live in Wisconsin, for example, you
have a .001% chance - 10 times more likely than if you are
MYTH #4 - IF I GET SWINE FLU, I'LL DIE! So far, out of the nearly 7 billion people in the world, 79 have
been confirmed to have died from swine flu. That is 1 out of every
100 million people. In all the rest of the cases, people have
recovered within a few days, much as you would with the regular flu.
56,000 people died of the regular seasonal flu in the USA alone in the
last reported year, and over 13,000 have died from the regular flu so
far this year. Meanwhile, a grand total of six people have died
due to the swine flu in the USA out of a country of 300 million people,
all with severe underlying health problems.
Chicken Pox is more dangerous. 94 people every day die in a car crash in the USA alone. 8
people every month are killed by lightning in the USA.
Swine flu symptoms are no different than the regular flu, which
everyone has had at one time or another, and it is milder and less dangerous than the regular old seasonal flu. Once everyone
realized that, it's almost completely out of the news. 4 times
more chance of being killed by lightning....think about that.
MYTH #5 - I DON'T WANT TO HAVE TO WEAR A MASK ON VACATION! The only mask anyone is wearing in Cancun is a snorkeling mask.
People are going on about their lives like normal. Only 7 cases in a city of 600,000 people in Cancun, zero cases in Playa del
Carmen, Cozumel or the Riviera Maya, and this is just a regular old run
of the mill flu bug. Nobody is concerned here. That said,
you will see masks on employees at grocery stores and airport, and they
will take your temperature when you leave the airport as a precaution.
These are the facts as they stand right now regarding Swine Flu.
That said, make sure to monitor sites like the
WHO and their
swine flu map, as well as those from your travel agency and the
we believe the WHO is less prone to politics and therefore more
reliable). Please don't depend on the ratings-based cable news
channels for your information, it is the least reliable source of
verifiable information. You can also find current reports from
locals and current visitors on the TripAdvisor Forums for
Playa del Carmen and
Cozumel. We're also following updates for
Swine Flu in Puerto Vallarta.