Weekly News Summary (Sat: 22:00 hrs. )

++ As of Saturday evening the Secretary of Health José Ángel Córdova Villalobos announced that there were 473 confirmed cases of the H1N1 influenza in Mexico of which 19 persons have died. At the beginning of the week the Secretary did warn that Mexico is facing its most critical moment of the epidemic… On Monday night he ordered that that classes all over the country would be suspended at all levels of education in all of Mexico until May 6. Mid week the Secretary announced that all non-essential activities should be shut down in government offices and in the productive sector from May 1st through May 5th. (Comment: We should be expecting some type of announcement by Sunday or Monday as to whether schools and non-essential business will continue to be shut down. I believe that there is the possibility that classes will not start until the 11th of May. )
++The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also confirmed on Saturday a higher total of confirmed cases, 160, up from Friday's total of 141.
++The World Health Organization raised the pandemic alert level to Phase 5, mid week. On Saturday the WHO confirmed that the number of cases of swine flu rose to 658 around the world.
WHO decided to give a new name to the virus, which will now be known as “human influenza H1N1” rather than swine influenza. WHO director general, Margaret Chan, said all of humanity faced the threat of a pandemic.
++ Head of the Pan-American Health Organization Mirta Roses announced in Washington that a preliminary influenza vaccine for this strain will be ready by the end of May, but testing to prove its effectiveness will delay it being applied…
++ Jesús Kumate, former secretary of health, said the epidemic could affect the country for at least a year, since there are relapses or renewed outbreaks… He said that in the case of influenza, the renewed outbreaks occur every two months, or what could happen also is that the virus could mutate yet again over that year.

++ The U.N. International Organization for Migrations said that documented or undocumented migrants living in any country affected by the human influenza epidemic must be guaranteed medical care and information about how to prevent contagion.
++ Finance Secretary Agustín Carstens said the cost of the human influenza epidemic in Mexico will amount to 4.5 billion dollars, or the equivalent of 0.5 percent of the Gross Domestic Product.
++ At the beginning of the week, one person died of a heart attack during an earthquake measuring 5.7 degrees on the Richter scale that struck Mexico this Monday