The U.S. Embassy in Mexico City issued the following Warden Message on 25 April 2009: “The governments of the United States and Mexico are working closely together to contain the current outbreak of H1N1 influenza. In accordance with measures announced by the City of Mexico to limit the congregation of large crowds, the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City will suspend all non-essential consular services from Monday, April 27, 2009 through Thursday, April 30, 2009. On Friday May 1st the Embassy is closed for a local holiday.
“From Monday, April 27 to Thursday, April 30th, consular services for U.S. citizens will be limited to citizenship applications (passports and consular reports of birth abroad, or CRBA) and emergency assistance only. Notarial and other routine services will not be available; anyone with passport or CRBA appointments is encouraged but not required to reschedule to a later date. Additionally, the Federal Benefits Unit is requesting all persons to postpone interviews on Social Security claims.
“The Visa Unit will also suspend normal operations during this week. The Embassy will reschedule all visa applications which have been made for the week of April 27th. Our call center will call or e-mail applicants to reschedule appointments. Alternatively, applicants may re-schedule visa appointments without being charged by calling 01-800-719-2525. If there is an emergency visa issue please email email@example.com.
“Finally, the Benjamin Franklin Library will be closed to the public next week.
“These are precautionary measures only, taken to best assure the well-being of our clients and staff.
“The United States has imposed no additional constraints or limitations on travel between the United States and Mexico. Travelers are encouraged to comply with suggestions by Mexican public health officials and to be alert to good health and sanitation practices.
“The U.S. Embassy reminds U.S. citizens in Mexico that most cases of influenza are not swine flu; any specific questions or concerns about flu or other illnesses should be directed to a medical professional. Mexico City medical authorities urge people to avoid hospitals and clinics unless they have a medical emergency, since hospitals are centers of infection; instead, those with health concerns are encouraged to stay home and call their physicians to avoid potential exposure. Although the U.S. Embassy cannot give medical advice or provide medical services to the public, a list of hospitals and doctors can be found on our website at the following links: http://mexico.usembassy.gov/sacs_medical_info.html (Spanish)http://mexico.usembassy.gov/eng/eacs_medical_info.html (English)
“At this time the Mexican Secretariat of Health urges people to avoid large crowds, shaking hands, kissing people as a greeting, or using the subway. Maintaining a distance of at least six feet from other persons may decrease the risk of exposure. In addition, the following prevention tips are from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) website:
1. Avoid close contact.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.
2. Stay home when you are sick.
If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. You will help prevent others from catching your illness.
3. Cover your mouth and nose.
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.
4. Clean your hands.
Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs.
5. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.
6. Practice other good health habits.
Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.
“The U.S.-based call center for U.S. citizens can be reached from 8:00 am – 8:00 pm Eastern Daylight Time, M-F, at 1-888-407-4747, or if calling from outside the U.S., at (202)-501-4444. The U.S. Embassy will also post additional information as it becomes available at: www.usembassy-mexico.gov.”