Read us | Listen to us | Watch us | Join Live Events | Turn Off Ads | Live |

Click on your language to translate this article:

Afrikaans Afrikaans Albanian Albanian Amharic Amharic Arabic Arabic Armenian Armenian Azerbaijani Azerbaijani Basque Basque Belarusian Belarusian Bengali Bengali Bosnian Bosnian Bulgarian Bulgarian Catalan Catalan Cebuano Cebuano Chichewa Chichewa Chinese (Simplified) Chinese (Simplified) Chinese (Traditional) Chinese (Traditional) Corsican Corsican Croatian Croatian Czech Czech Danish Danish Dutch Dutch English English Esperanto Esperanto Estonian Estonian Filipino Filipino Finnish Finnish French French Frisian Frisian Galician Galician Georgian Georgian German German Greek Greek Gujarati Gujarati Haitian Creole Haitian Creole Hausa Hausa Hawaiian Hawaiian Hebrew Hebrew Hindi Hindi Hmong Hmong Hungarian Hungarian Icelandic Icelandic Igbo Igbo Indonesian Indonesian Irish Irish Italian Italian Japanese Japanese Javanese Javanese Kannada Kannada Kazakh Kazakh Khmer Khmer Korean Korean Kurdish (Kurmanji) Kurdish (Kurmanji) Kyrgyz Kyrgyz Lao Lao Latin Latin Latvian Latvian Lithuanian Lithuanian Luxembourgish Luxembourgish Macedonian Macedonian Malagasy Malagasy Malay Malay Malayalam Malayalam Maltese Maltese Maori Maori Marathi Marathi Mongolian Mongolian Myanmar (Burmese) Myanmar (Burmese) Nepali Nepali Norwegian Norwegian Pashto Pashto Persian Persian Polish Polish Portuguese Portuguese Punjabi Punjabi Romanian Romanian Russian Russian Samoan Samoan Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic Serbian Serbian Sesotho Sesotho Shona Shona Sindhi Sindhi Sinhala Sinhala Slovak Slovak Slovenian Slovenian Somali Somali Spanish Spanish Sudanese Sudanese Swahili Swahili Swedish Swedish Tajik Tajik Tamil Tamil Telugu Telugu Thai Thai Turkish Turkish Ukrainian Ukrainian Urdu Urdu Uzbek Uzbek Vietnamese Vietnamese Welsh Welsh Xhosa Xhosa Yiddish Yiddish Yoruba Yoruba Zulu Zulu

Unclear how flu outbreak will affect travel

0d_56
0d_56
Written by editor

Travel agents said it is too early to tell how seriously the outbreak of swine influenza will affect travel to Mexico, where 149 people have died from the illness.

Travel agents said it is too early to tell how seriously the outbreak of swine influenza will affect travel to Mexico, where 149 people have died from the illness.

The federal Centers for Disease Control has not recommended against travel to Mexico but has issued a precaution urging travelers to affected areas to monitor the situation and practice healthy habits including frequent hand-washing, covering their mouths when they sneeze and not sneezing into bare hands.

“At this point it’s pretty early to say if there’s any impact or what the impact will be,” said Amanda Borichevsky, spokeswoman for Travelocity, a large online travel agency.

Dan Toporek, a Travelocity vice president in San Francisco, said the company has received “a relatively low volume of calls” from customers who have booked trips to Mexico, and is sending alerts to customers with travel plans in the next few weeks. Travelocity has waived all fees for changing travel plans, as have major airlines.

At STA Travel, a national agency that specializes in student travel, spokesman Patrick Evans said no reservations had been canceled yet, but he noted that this is a low period for student travel. STA has also waived fees for changing travel plans.

While the European Union cautioned against travel to the United States and Mexico, the acting director for the Centers for Disease Control said he thought it was “premature” to send that message. In the U.S., there have been 40 confirmed cases and only one of those cases involved hospitalization, according to the CDC.

In San Diego, tourism officials reported a surge in phone calls asking about the swine flu, and said they hope it would not exacerbate an already suffering tourist season.

“A lot of this tends to get blown out of proportion,” he said. “Obviously our industry is not healthy right now because of the economic issues, and we don’t want another issue to affect us when it’s not necessary. Not to minimize it, but the press on this is much more than the reality.”