Mexico expects swine flu infections to peak at New Year

Mexico City, Nov 27 (DPA) Mexico expects a peak in influenza A (H1N1) infections in late December and early January, Mexican Health Minister Jose Angel Cordova Villalobos said Thursday.

Cordova Villalobos said that those are teh dryest and coldest weeks of the year in Mexico, and “the virus spreads faster” in dry conditions.

“There will be more cases and more deaths, but the important thing will be to contain them,” he said during a meeting with federal and state health officials.

The H1N1 flu virus, which was first detected in April in Mexico and has since become a global pandemic, has claimed 610 lives and infected a total of more than 65,000 people in the country, according to the Health Ministry.

Mexico has already received 865,000 vaccine doses. Vaccinations started Wednesday in the central state of Guanajuato, initially limited to medical personnel and pregnant women.

A second batch of 650,000 doses is expected Dec 7, with the bulk of the 30 million doses that Mexico bought from European laboratories to arrive in starting in January.