Alexa

Argentine regions declare swine flu emergency

 People, wearing face masks as a precaution against swine flu, seek medical treatment at a waiting area of a hospital in Buenos Aires, Tuesday, June 3...
 A woman, wearing a face mask as a precaution against swine flu, seeks medical attention at a waiting area of a hospital in Buenos Aires, Tuesday, Jun...
 A man, wearing a face mask as a precaution against swine flu, seeks medical attention at a waiting area of a hospital in Buenos Aires, Tuesday, June ...
 Hospital workers, wearing face masks as a precaution against swine flu, wait for patients at a reception room in a hospital in Buenos Aires suburbs, ...
 A man, wearing a face mask as a precaution against swine flu, is seen through a glass window as he seeks medical attention at a waiting area of a hos...

Argentina Swine Flu

People, wearing face masks as a precaution against swine flu, seek medical treatment at a waiting area of a hospital in Buenos Aires, Tuesday, June 3...

Argentina Swine Flu

A woman, wearing a face mask as a precaution against swine flu, seeks medical attention at a waiting area of a hospital in Buenos Aires, Tuesday, Jun...

Argentina Swine Flu

A man, wearing a face mask as a precaution against swine flu, seeks medical attention at a waiting area of a hospital in Buenos Aires, Tuesday, June ...

Argentina Swine Flu

Hospital workers, wearing face masks as a precaution against swine flu, wait for patients at a reception room in a hospital in Buenos Aires suburbs, ...

Argentina Swine Flu

A man, wearing a face mask as a precaution against swine flu, is seen through a glass window as he seeks medical attention at a waiting area of a hos...

Authorities in Argentina's capital and Buenos Aires province declared health emergencies and extended school vacations Tuesday as the nation's swine flu death toll surged to 35.
Together the areas comprise almost half of Argentina's population, and they joined four other provinces that have already declared health emergencies in a nation that in Latin America is topped only by Mexico in number of swine flu deaths.
Health authorities have warned that while the swine flu peak has passed in Mexico, the Southern Hemisphere is at risk as it heads deeper into its winter flu season.
Buenos Aires Mayor Mauricio Macri said Tuesday that the capital would declare a health emergency but that restaurants, shopping centers, public transportation and movie theaters would remain open.
A statement from Macri's office noted that the emergency decree allows the mayor to change school vacation dates without legislative approval. It also allows him to unilaterally suspend sports and entertainment activities.
"We've made the decision to prolong school vacations in an attempt to decrease the epidemiological risk," the mayor said at a news conference also attended by the capital city's health and education ministers.
School vacations, scheduled for July 20-31, will now extend from July 6 to Aug. 3.
A few hours later, Buenos Aires province Gov. Daniel Scioli declared similar measures, including a health emergency and extended school vacations. There will be no large-scale business closures either in the large Argentine province.
Scioli's health minister, Claudio Zin, raised the province's swine flu death toll to 29. Officials in Buenos Aires city said at least six people have died there.
"We are at the stage of the epidemic where this measure (extending school vacations) is interesting and certainly effective in controlling the phenomenon. But we are not going to take measures such as banning public shows, though we do recommend that people avoid large public gatherings," Zin said.
In Mexico, the country that took the initial brunt of the disease, President Felipe Calderon ordered schools closed in late April and then followed with a five-day national shutdown of nonessential businesses to curb the virus' spread.
At least 119 people have died and more than 9,000 people sickened by swine flu in Mexico. In Chile, there have been at least six confirmed swine flu deaths, and two in Colombia.
Thus far, Argentina has had 1,587 cases of swine flu, and 35 deaths, the largest number on the continent.