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Swine flu news

flu.JPGAll Nature’s pandemic flu coverage is collected on our news special page. These regular updates on The Great Beyond round up the latest from other news sources around the globe.

In an effort to encourage tourists to visit in the wake of swine flu, Mexico City is offering free health insurance to visitors. Under the Tourist Assistance Card programme anyone staying at a hotel in the city can claim for medical assistance in the event the catch H1N1 or indeed any other disease.

Prescription drugs, emergency dental care, hospital accommodation and transport home are also covered.

“Of all the world’s largest cities, Mexico City is the first to try this,” says Mayor Marcelo Ebrard (press release statement, LA Times).

Given the parlous state of the US health system might it be worthwhile for Americans to fly to Mexico City if they feel a little under the weather? Maybe not. The NY Times cautions “fine print of the proposal says that the treatment will be offered at ‘authorized establishments’ and that in some cases an unspecified deductible will be charged”.

Meanwhile, the Swiss government has come up with perhaps the best H1N1 public awareness campaign so far. Even if your French is ne pas tres bien you should be able to get the point from this. See here and here for the encores.

It makes the UK Department of Health’s ‘Catch It, Bin It, Kill It’ swine flu advert look positively dull. Clearly they need to raise their game by hiring someone else to do the next one, perhaps the guys behind Nature favourite, the Swine Flu Skank.

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