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Flu Outbreak Becomes a concern in Mexico City

Mexico City closed schools on Friday in an effort to prevent further spread of a swine flu virus that is suspected to have killed 60 people near the capital and infected more than 900, the Houston Chronicle reported via The Associated Press.

The first citywide school closure since the 1985 earthquake kept 6.1 millions students at home, the Chronicle reported.

The news raised concerns worldwide of a possible influenza pandemic, as the World Health Organization activated its pandemic response center, the Australian reported via Agence France-Presse.

Mexican Health Secretary Jose Cordova said that the swine virus was responsible for at least 16 of the deaths, and the government was still researching the other 44 cases, the Chronicle reported.

The Mexican government plans to administer 500,000 vaccines to health workers, but does not have enough vaccines for the general public the Chronicle reported.

Officials had not yet determined how seven recent cases of influenza in the southern United States might have been related to the strain found in Mexico, the Australian reported.

Five people in California and two people in Texas recovered from a virus that included avian, swine, and human strains, the New York Times reported. Contact among some of them suggested that the virus could be transmitted between humans.