Swine Flu Affects Local Travel

Fresno, CA Hospitals are paying attention to national alerts but, for the most part, it is business as usual here in the valley.

Dr. Sohaila Mojadaddi said everyone in the medical field is watching the swine flu outbreak closely. Valley hospitals must report any suspicious sicknesses to county health centers.

"If you suspect the slightest sign and symptom you have to report it and ask for help from infectious diseases."

Even though most are on heightened alert many are still traveling. Bags are packed and Lupe Mendez is ready to go. But on this trip to Mexico a special item is within quick reach.

"If anybody's sneezing or coughing I'm gonna put my mask on," said Mendez.

Mendez is traveling to Tijuana to see family for three weeks and fully aware 80 deaths could be linked to swine flu.

"You can't live afraid of things. You can just...just wear a mask, be careful," said Mendez.

Not everyone with plans to travel south of the border share in Mendez's optimism. At least 5 people who arranged visits to Mexico through De Alba travel in downtown Fresno have delayed plans.

Assistant manager Dinna Cuevas said the airline companies are only reimbursing fees into Mexico City. Most De Alba clients are traveling into Guadalajara.

"They said, 'I'd prefer to pay $150 in penalties than be over there and maybe get sick or something,'" said Cuevas.

Cuevas expects more people will back out of travel when new details about the virus are made public. Meanwhile, Mendez said there are worse things in Mexico like daily abductions, drug wars and murder. "The drugs and all that is what I'm more afraid of than the swine flu," she said.

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