Health Canada issues travel warning for Mexico

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Health Canada has issued a travel warning as of April 27 2009, recommending travellers postpone elective or non-essential travel to Mexico until further notice.

Minister of Health Leona Aglukkaq and Chief Public Health Officer Dr. David Butler-Jones also provided an update to Canadians today on further actions that have been taken by the Government of Canada in the management of the swine flu outbreak.

The Public Health Agency of Canada's National Microbiology Lab in Winnipeg has confirmed four cases of A, H1N1 swine flu from Nova Scotia. The British Columbia Centre for Disease Control identified two additional cases from British Columbia. All six cases are same strain of human swine influenza that has been found in the U.S. and Mexico. These first cases were detected as a result of the increased surveillance the federal government initiated with the provinces and territories and health professionals given concerns over the spread of swine flu in Mexico and the United States.

"The federal government has taken additional steps to protect travellers and has issued a health alert notice to the airlines that they are now distributing," said Minister Aglukkaq. "In addition, airlines are making onboard announcements to advise travelers of health precautions. The situation is evolving and we will remain vigilant and continue to monitor the situation closely."

"We have no new confirmed cases to date and all existing cases have recovered completely from their mild symptoms," said Dr. David Butler-Jones, Canada's Chief Public Health Officer. "In Canada, we have already increased our activity in several ways. Most notably, we've heightened our surveillance systems to more closely monitor the spread of the disease and we are ensuring that rigorous infection control practices are being implemented to prevent further spread."

The Public Health Agency of Canada is providing additional support to its international partners. Two Canadian epidemiologists are in Mexico, assisting with testing at that country's request.

Minister Aglukkaq re-iterated the Government of Canada's commitment to ongoing communication with Canadians who are encouraged to access updated information through the Public Health Agency of Canada's website, or by calling 1-800-454-8302.

The full text of this update and more information on swine flu is available at Health Canada's website