Thursday, July 9, 2009

Buenos Aires tries to shut down for the weekend

One situation we are watching out for is outbreaks of novel H1N1 that seem to be causing more severe disease, higher proportions of death, social unrest, etc. As WHO notes, pandemic severity is not just about the virus itself, but also about the vulnerabilities of the population and how prepared a community is.

So, we are watching Argentina carefully, as spread of H1N1 seems to be causing more disruption and strain on health services as the virus spreads in the densely populated urban slums surrounding Buenos Aires. Also, underlying vulnerabilities could possibly be causing more deaths as Argentina now is third behind US and Mexico in number of deaths. Too soon to tell, but these are the events we want to keep an eye on to get an idea of how H1N1 might play out in certain communities.

The government has closed theaters since last Monday and now they are encouraging a people to stay home for a long weekend. Thursday is a national holiday, and many government institutions will close Friday and Monday (

We are likely to continue to see governments respond with sporadic social distancing measures in areas where the spread novel H1N1 doesn't feel like a moderate pandemic in the local community.

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