Officials from the EU have warned travelers to avoid travelling to the US in light of the recent outbreak of swine flu. The European Union considers travelers should be avoiding the worst hit areas of the US if they are to avoid running the risk of spreading the virus. Swine flu, which is categorised as a Group A influenza virus, is suspected to have contributed to the deaths of more than 100 people in Mexico. Travelers returning home from that country are thought to have carried the virus as far afield as US, Canada, and Scotland. Since Monday, the virus has been identified in mainland Spain. While five other countries are now testing patients for the possibility that swine flu virus has entered their borders, President Barack Obama states that although the cases in the US are causes for concern, they should not cause alarm.

Experts from the World Health Organisation will be meeting later to discuss what risks the virus is likely to pose to people on a global scale. Meanwhile, the UN believes there is the potential for the virus to escalate to pandemic proportions and has issued a warning that the virus does pause a threat of an incipient pandemic. Despite this, the UN has announced that the world is now better prepared to cope with any threat posed by the virus.

President Jose Manuel Barroso, the European Commissioner, is closely monitoring the situation and, meanwhile, an emergency meeting with health ministers has been called by the EU to consider the developing situation. However, Androulla Vassilious, an EU Health Commissioner, has strongly advised that people should not travel to the worst virus spots in Mexico or the US unless their journeys were essential and unavoidable.

In Mexico, on Sunday, the Health Secretary, Josel Angel Corova is reported as saying cases of swine flu in his country have now risen to 1,614 with 103 deaths so far. Of these, however, only 20 are known to be confirmed as having been caused by the new Group A influenza virus, known as the new swine flu virus.

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