Update: Cruise Travel Not Impacted by Swine Flu

April 26, 2009
Update, 9 p.m. EDT: This evening, there is still no change to cruise lines' itineraries including Mexico ports of call. Also, neither the U.S. nor the U.K. have advised against travel to Mexico. However, instances of swine flu there continue to rise. Swine flu has now been identified in 19 of Mexico's 32 states, according to the World Health Organization. The Associated Press reports that cases have been confirmed in Baja California, just north of Baja California Sur, where Cabo San Lucas is located.

Cruise Critic's community manager, Laura Sterling, and about 200 members and hosts are currently onboard Carnival Splendor en route to the Mexican Riviera, and will be sharing information from the trip via the message boards (visit the Carnival forum for the latest).

We'll keep you posted.

(April 25) -- A swine flu outbreak that has killed as many as 68 people in Mexico and infected possibly 1,000 more -- including at least 10 in the U.S., according to the Washington Post -- has not yet prompted restrictions on travel.

At this time, neither the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention nor the U.S. Department of State or U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office has recommended that travelers avoid Mexico. Likewise, no cruise lines have announced itinerary changes -- though both Princess and Royal Caribbean have told us that they are monitoring the situation closely.

According to the CDC, via the World Health Organization, there have been no reported cases to date of influenza-like illness in the resort areas along the coast of Mexico. However, if you are calling on a Mexico port on an upcoming cruise, there are several precautions the CDC recommends for reducing the risk of infection and staying in good general health. Among them are:

Be sure you are up-to-date with routine vaccinations, including seasonal influenza vaccine if available.

Wash your hands often, and cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough. Swine flu is passed person to person, much like Norovirus.

And, as with all travel, make sure your health insurance plan will cover you sufficiently abroad.

For more information on traveling to Mexico, visit the CDC's Web site.

--by Melissa Baldwin Paloti, Managing Editor