Paris, April 25, 2009
On April 24, 2009, the Mexican medical authorities announced the outbreak of a flu epidemic, mainly in the Mexico City area. Cases were also reported in the United States and other countries.
Today, liaising closely with the interministerial crisis unit at the French Health Ministry, the Foreign and European Ministry’s crisis centre has set up a telephone number for the public to call for information about the situation in Mexico (tel. +33 1 45 50 34 60).
Information is also available from the following websites:
French Health Ministry: http://www.sante-sports.gouv.fr/
World Health Organization: www.who.int/en
French Embassy in Mexico: www.ambafrance-mx.org [in French and Spanish
U.S. government swine, avian and pandemic flu information: www.pandemicflu.gov
French ministry of health and sports: www.sante-sports.gouv.fr
French Foreign Ministry www.diplomatie.gouv.fr
1/ Human cases of swine flu have been identified in the United States. An epidemic caused by the same virus has been raging in central Mexico, and notably Mexico City, for a month. Complete information on the evolution of this epidemic is available on the U.S. government site: www.cdc.gov/swineflu
2/ Federal authorities have declared this epidemic a “national health emergency.” This is a customary procedure that makes it possible to free up federal funds and staff to focus on preventing the spread of the virus.
3/ U.S. authorities urge residents in regions affected by the epidemic and travelers to abide by the following basic recommendations:
wash hands often, if possible using an alcohol solution
try to avoid contact with sick persons
if flu-like symptoms are observed, consult a doctor, stay at home and limit contact with other people.
The symptoms of swine flu are similar to those of the regular flu: high fever, sore throat, achiness, headaches, chills and fatigue.
The U.S. Secretary of Health has indicated that swine flu is not transmitted by eating pork or pork-based products.
4/ The Embassy of France in Washington and the French Consulates are monitoring the situation closely.
5/ Two telephone numbers are available for families in France:
the Health Ministry crisis center:
from France : 0825.302.302
from abroad : +188.8.131.52.73.23
The Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs - travelers information: +184.108.40.206.34.60.
6/ Persons wishing to travel to Mexico are advised to consult the Foreign Ministry’s Travel Advisory site at http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/fr/conseils-aux-voyageurs_909/pays_12191/mexique_12292/index.html
7/ Persons returning from Mexico are urged to take the following precautions:
contact your local Center 15 (Tel.: 15) or your regular physician if you have the following symptoms within seven days of your return: • Fever • Cough • Achiness • Fatigue
during the call, specify your itinerary, places where you spent time, and your return date;
follow the recommendations of Center 15 or those of your regular physician and avoid large gatherings.