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Many say adios to Mexican trips during outbreak

Posted April 28, 2009

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— A growing number of Triangle residents have canceled trips to Mexico because of concerns over the swine flu outbreak.

Nearly 2,000 people are believed to be infected with the virus in Mexico, and more than 150 have died. As the number of confirmed cases in the U.S. began rising this week – there were 64 as of Tuesday afternoon – the government advised against any non-essential travel to Mexico to halt the spread of the disease.

Generic plane in flight Flu outbreak scares travelers away from Mexico

The government warning was enough for Meghan McNamara and her fiance to cancel a four-day trip to Cancun scheduled for next weekend.

"It was the toughest decision ever," McNamara said. "I feel very sad. We were really looking forward to it.. We were planning for months and months, and now we have no vacation.

"We were just trying to follow the government warnings, and if they say we should avoid any unnecessary travel, we're going to follow what they say," she said.

The couple is working with the airlines to get a refund on the trip. Most airlines have waived their fees for changes in flight plans in light of the swine flu outbreak.

Nearly a dozen people who booked trips to Mexico through AAA Carolinas also have canceled those plans, eastern regional manager Charlene Edwards said. The agency is working with airlines and hotels, and many people are switching to destinations like Jamaica, she said.

"Safety is our No. 1 concern," Edwards said.

Tourists aren't the only people steering clear of Mexico. North Carolina State University has canceled a study abroad trip to Cuernavaca, a city south of Mexico City, that had been scheduled for this summer.

"We have a policy that, if there's a travel warning, a program would automatically be canceled," said Ingrid Schmidt, associate vice provost for international affairs and director of the Study Abroad program.

Nineteen N.C. State students had signed up for the program, Schmidt said.

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  • FromClayton Apr 29, 2009

    I just saw a banner add that said flights to cancul $99. I got all excited and thought man that is cheap...then I remembered why. I didn't click it.

  • doubletap357 Apr 29, 2009

    It has nothing to do with compassion rather than controlling the spread. trying to limit contact between people who are infected and those that are not.

  • Yo Apr 29, 2009

    it is so sad to read all these comments lacked of compassion

  • doubletap357 Apr 29, 2009

    I don't see how going to a third world country like Mexico could be a vacation but to each his own. However in the current situation travel to and from Mexico should be prohibited until further notice. I thought that the prescribed way to contain an outbreak of anything was to isolate the source.

  • NC is my home Apr 29, 2009

    We have so many beautiful places here in North Carolina, why go to Mexico? (or anywhere else for that matter!) Call 1-800-VISITNC for free infomation about "a better place to be..."

  • Timetogo Apr 28, 2009

    It MIGHT make it easier to control here in the states if we didn't have so many bringing it in from across the border.

  • pleshy Apr 28, 2009

    This is why you don;t travel to third world contries. Frankly this is why I don't travel out of the USA - why on earth would I go to a place where, if I am injured, I am lucky if there is trained medical help with modern equipment like, running water and antobiotics. You can't flush toilet paper down the toilet in most of mexico or south america. You can't drink the water! I would rather go to the outer banks and rent a perfectly good house and not have to worry about how bad my intestinal infection or case of ringworm will be.