Friday, May 15, 2009

Mexico: Staying Safe

Personal Safety:
  • Blend in as much as possible. Walking around with a camera around your neck and a guidebook in your hand advertises your tourist status and may make you a mark for thieves. Try to be discreet.

  • Choose ATMs in malls or stores if possible. Avoid using ATMs at night or in deserted places. When you withdraw money from an ATM put it away immediately.

  • Carry only the cash you need for the moment in your pocket or purse. Carry your passport, credit card and extra money inside your clothes in a money-belt, or leave them in your hotel's safe. When you need to get something out of your money belt do it in a private place.

  • Exercise particular caution when in crowds, markets or on public transportation. Pickpockets can be very crafty and sometimes work in pairs - one person will distract you while another takes your wallet.

  • Ask your hotel manager or another knowledgeable person if there are some areas of the city you should avoid.

Food Safety:

  • Only drink bottled water while in Mexico. You should also brush your teeth with only bottled or filtered water even in the most exclusive resorts.
  • Food that is well cooked and served hot is generally considered safe. Tortillas, a Mexican staple, are safe to eat. Ice should always be avoided and that means no frozen Margaritas. Beans, rice, and soups are safe as they are boiled to be prepared and boiling will take care of bacteria and viruses that freezing does not.
  • Fresh fruit and vegetables should be considered risky unless you can peel them yourself.

H1N1 numbers for today:
Mexico has reported 2446 laboratory confirmed human cases of infection, including 60 deaths. The United States has reported 4298 laboratory confirmed human cases, including three deaths. Canada has reported 449 laboratory confirmed human cases, including one death. Costa Rica has reported eight laboratory confirmed human cases, including one death.

In total, 34 countries have confirmed at least one case of H1N1 (swine) Influenza.

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