Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Swine Flu and PD

How does an epidemic such as the Swine Flu affect PD for countries like Mexico and the United States? Mexico has been pleading for assistance and understanding, claiming that they are controlling the spread of the disease, while the United States has seemingly been deemed guilty by its proximity to Mexico for the rise and subsequent spread of the disease. The press has not been helping things since the number of cases in the U.S. skyrocketed over the past few weeks, reporting the "first U.S. death" due to the swine flu, despite the fact that the death was actually that of a Mexican child who came to the U.S. seeking better treatment for his condition. Now, even Canada is potentially at fault for inadvertently causing the outbreak of the disease (

Despite all the hoopla surrounding the disease, only ten people have died this year due to the swine flu, while nearly 36,000 people die of what we know simply as the "flu" every single year in the U.S. My question to you is this: although the disease has clearly been blown out of proportion, will it affect the way that countries interact with one another, as it has already prompted countries like Chile and Argentina to create special medical checkpoints for visitors from Mexico and the United States? What affect will this have on Mexican, Canadian, and American public diplomacy until the disease can be contained?

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