I read an article today about the recent swine flu illness spreading across Mexico. Apparently 20 cases have been reported in the U.S., according to to Donald McNeil's recent NY Times article.
1300 breathing problems and 81 deaths in Mexico? That's a fairly hefty amount and considering the close proximity, America may be hoping their flu shots are a little more juiced-up this season.
The question here is not how powerful America's vaccines will be, but rather, are Mexicans taking care of themselves? This is a virus derived intially from contact with pigs carrying the virus, and is then spread from human to human. It could just be a matter of people not cleaning up after themselves, and worse, not cleaning themselves.
The people of Mexico maintain a fairly primitive routine considering the continent they're on, full of commerce and production. They are a dedicated people, suited for a simple life of hard work and appreciation. But as any visitor will tell you, Mexico is just not a clean place. The water is forbidden, which can't possibly help even if you're trying to wash yourself.
What strikes me also are conclusions based on numbers. Because not too many have died (80), officials probably don't even consider it a threat yet. In reality, many Mexicans are suffering from breathing problems and irregularly prolonged flu spells.