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Three Possible Cases of Swine Flu in Guatemala

The Ministry of Health announced three possible cases of swine flu in Guatemala.

Guatemalans are urged not to travel to Mexico where there are 103 confirmed deaths so far. The true number might be 147.

Avoid contact with people, avoid crowds, wash your hands often, don’t touch your face, especially eyes, with unwashed hands.


  1. Leonardo Ricardo

    Greetings and thanks for the update on the suspected Swine Flu cases in Guatemala. I hadn´t heard anything…I live outside Antigua and note that the questionable ¨cases¨ are in Guatemala City…let´s hope for negative outcomes of those tests.

    Thanks again,

    Leonardo Ricardo

  2. Phil

    Indeed. We must hope for the best. The three original cases have come up negative but there are three new cases.

    I post a lot more detail on this over on my news blog that focuses on Guatemala:


  3. Anonymous

    It’s good to read your comments – I am planning a trip in August to Antiqua and am a little concerned about travel and the virus.
    Any thoughts?

    Thank you,
    Martha A

  4. Phil

    Hi Martha,

    August is a long ways off so I would not concern myself about the pandemic for the time being. I would not change my plans.

    Pandemics develop and subside slowly, over a period of months or years. With modern rapid travel this will probably take place faster than in the past but all the hoopla about the flu has been in recent days, which is a very short time frame. Over the next month we’ll see how things develop. We’ll know a lot more in a month or even two months than we do now and you can make your decisions.

    A lot of things can happen between now and then so I would not even think about changing plans until some time has passed.

  5. Phil

    Martha, your bigger problem might actually be in the USA and not in Guatemala:


  6. Anonymous

    Hey I wanted to know how bad the swine flu was down there now? Cause I'm thinking about going back down there in Oct.

  7. Phil

    Occasional cases popping up here and there. There have been some deaths but mainly among those most susceptible to harm from this strain which are children and the obese.

    It's good to bear in mind that worldwide, millions die every year from "standard" flu. AH1N1 or swine flu is no worse a disease than any other flu. (I know because I've had it). The difference with this flu is that since it's a new strain nobody has any immunity to it. It jumps easily between animals and humans (which all flu strains do to some extent). When you put those two things together you have the makings of a possible pandemic. The danger is that lots of people become sick at once and health care and drug supplies become overloaded.

    The disease itself is the same as any other bad flu. The three of us here, who come from completely different backgrounds and histories, we all came down with it on the same afternoon. That means none of us had any immunity to it and that was the first clue it was AH1N1. The symptoms were the usual flu symptoms, fever, feeling terrible, etc. Improvement began on the fourth day and total recovery took a couple of weeks — a typical bad flu.

    A lot can happen between now and October. I would just keep an eye on the news and reports from WHO, but personally I would not be concerned about travel. After all, you are just a likely to get it wherever you are now.

    The concern here right now (here being Departamento Izabal in the eastern part of the Guatemala) is dengue fever. We have an outbreak going on and as you probably know, dengue is nothing to trifle with — far more dangerous than any flu. But again, October is off in the future and by then the dengue disease vectors (aedes mosquitos) will probably be gone and the outbreak will be over. So again, speaking personally, I would not alter travel plans in October, but such a decision is yours to make.

  8. hyperhidrosis

    I have very mild asthma that usually makes me very dusty or very degraded, or when I have a chest cold or very cold air exercise and even then usually mild wheezing. But I was blowing very bad all the time he was in Mexico. I am not surprised that something like Legionnaires disease, which is usually fatal in people who have at least a little weak immune system or respiratory system.

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