A South Korean disinfection truck sprays disinfectant against a possible swine flu outbreak at a port farm in Chuncheon, South Korea, Monday, April 27, 2009. (AP Photo/Yonhap, Lee Sang-hack)
MADRID (AP) – The top EU health official urged Europeans on Monday to postpone nonessential travel to parts of the United States and Mexico because of the swine flu virus, and Spanish health officials confirmed the first case outside North America.
Russia, Hong Kong and Taiwan said they would quarantine visitors showing symptoms of the virus amid a surging global concern about a possible pandemic.
Europeans urged to avoid Mexico and US as swine flu death toll exceeds 100 (Guardian):
• Spain confirms first European case as pandemic fears grow
• 17 possible cases of swine flu are under watch in the UK
World stock markets fell as investors worried that the deadly outbreak could go global and derail any global economic recovery. Airlines took the brunt of the selling.
The virus was suspected in up to 103 deaths in Mexico, the epicenter of the outbreak with more than 1,600 cases suspected, while 40 cases – none fatal – were confirmed in the United States and six in Canada, the World Health Organization said.
“Today we’ve seen increased number of confirmed cases in several countries,” WHO spokesman Paul Garwood told The Associated Press. “WHO is very concerned about the number of cases that are appearing, and the fact that more and more cases are appearing in different countries.”
Read moreSwine flu prompts EU warning on travel to US and Mexico