U.S. Embassy Message: H1N1 Influenza A

H1N1 Influenza (Swine Flu) Update from the U.S. Embassy

July 2, 2009

Argentinas health ministry reported more than 1,500 confirmed cases of H1N1 Influenza, including 26 deaths, as of June 26, its last release of statistics.  Media reports place the number of deaths at 44 as of July 1, 2009, with higher numbers of confirmed cases as well.  [However, most are suspicious that the government has not been forthcoming in its statistics, especially after these drastic measures have been taken.]  Most school districts have extended school vacations, some to as long as a month.  Two of Argentina’s largest districts, the Province of Buenos Aires and the city of Buenos Aires, have declared administrative health emergencies and are recommending avoiding large congregations of people. Other measures instituted to control the spread of H1N1 include a requirement that travelers entering Argentina complete health cards with local contact information, don provided surgical masks when disembarking their flights, and pass in front of sensors that track body temperature in transportation terminals.  Some flights also may be disinfected with spray prior to landing.

So, what does this mean for us?  Since they cancelled school for the rest of July and are recommending that the children stay at home, we decided to cancel our Winter Vacation Bible School It would be better to follow the governments suggestions and not put our people or other peoples children at risk.  Two sister churches have decided to cancel all church activities for the rest of the month except for one Sunday service per week There are two big youth conferences scheduled the last week of July, and we have not yet heard if they will proceed with those or not.  If the number of cases do not decrease substantially, the schools will remain closed into the month of August.  This may put the MBBC mission teams activities/concerts at risk.  We already have three concerts scheduled here in Pilar one at a secular music school, one at our church, and one at a local private school.  Please pray for Gods will to be done.  Please pray for physical and spiritual healing in this land.

– James & Amy

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