April 29, 2009
The European Union’s top health official today urged Europeans to postpone any nonessential travel to the U.S. and Mexico. With more than 1,600 cases and 103 deaths in Mexico, the epicenter of the outbreak, and with confirmed cases in the U.S. doubling to 40, the World Health Organization worries of pandemic potential while economists worry of additional blows to the already suffering world economy.
According to the AP, EU Health Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou only makes recommendations to the 27 member countries, leaving the ultimate travel advisory decisions to their respective foreign ministries. Regardless, the commission’s director-general for health and consumer protection, Robert Madelin, has stressed the need for a unified EU response, BBC reports.
“If we do not co-ordinate, individual regions and countries take measures which are inconsistent and create huge economic and personal costs,” he told a news conference in Brussels. “A combined approach is definitely the best response.” Mr Madelin said the EU was “putting in place plans agreed in the last five years, ensuring that the level of risk management is appropriate to the risk – using our ‘war-games’ experiences”.
EU health ministers will convene an emergency meeting on Thursday to further discuss the outbreak.
<a href="http://www.acus.org/new_atlanticist/swine-flu-outbreaks-prompt-eu-travel-warnings">Read More...</a>Author : dko