Evidence has started to emerge that Mexico knew it had an exotic flu strain in the country, yet it delayed in notifying the world community. Brazil claims health officials knew as early as March. There is a report that a community in rural Veracruz had up to 500 cases of a swine flu-type of illness going back to December (including two deaths), but neglected to notify federal authorities. Mary Cuddahe writes from Mexico City:
[The spread of the virus to other nations] has led some to call the government’s initial response inadequate and, at the very least, too slow. In a press conference earlier today, health officials stated they had discovered the first case was a 4-year-old boy in the southeastern state of Veracruz, who was initially tested for a different flu strain on April 2. (He survived.) By the time officials realized they were dealing with the H1N1 virus days later, containment was impossible. And it wasn't until two weeks later that the government finally told people what was going on.
According to authorities, there have been 1,995 cases in Mexico, with 149 deaths, 776 still in the hospital, and 1,070 already recovered. One additional piece of news today (beyond the steady drumroll of more cases, more deaths, in more places): Mexico City has partially closed all food establishments; diners are only allowed to order food to go.
For more info in English, check out the Mexico blogs on the blogroll (Mexfiles and Mija Chronicles are two), as well as Mexidata.