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Mexico is in the midst of an outbreak of Influenza A, commonly known as Swine Flu. It has sickened more than 2,500 people and has been linked to 159 deaths. AmeriCares current aid to Mexico includes three shipments of medicines and supplies and we are preparing additional shipments to meet the health care needs of our partners.
AmeriCares recently sent two shipments to Mexico which included medicines, face masks for infection control and nutritional support for people who have been infected. The medicines included antibiotics to help fight the flu, fever and pain reducers to control symptoms and an inhalant to help people with breathing problems.
A third shipment to health care partners in Mexico is quickly being prepared for immediate shipment and will include additional face masks, gloves, IV fluids, vitamins, antibiotics, throat lozenges and other essential medicines and supplies to help treatment and prevention initiatives.
“AmeriCares is watching this Influenza A outbreak very carefully,” said Dr. Frank Bia, AmeriCares Medical Director and an expert in infectious diseases. “As Swine Flu infects more people, it can adapt and become more dangerous – like a hurricane picking up strength over warm water.”
Read Dr. Bia’s Q&A: What You Need to Know About the Swine Flu.
The outbreak in Mexico City is particularly alarming because the dense population, combined with a lack of access to basic medicines can lead to a spike in infections.
“The current swine flu outbreak is the same strain, H1N1, as during the flu pandemic of 1918 when more than twenty million people died,” said Dr. Bia. “Even though we have advanced medicines today, the risk is still great in the developing world where health care is out of reach for so many.”
AmeriCares keeps infection control supplies, including face masks, gloves and hygiene items on reserve, enabling us to respond immediately to serious outbreaks like the Swine Flu in Mexico City.
Since 1989, AmeriCares has been working to help people in Mexico with critical medical needs. Medicines and medical supplies donated by AmeriCares have played a critical role in protecting and improving health outcomes.