Unlike other years, the spread of influenza virus has been concentrated in the southeast region of the country, particularly in Yucatán, Quintana Roo and Chiapas.
So far, half of the cases of influenza in the country have been registered in these three states, plus Mexico City and the State of Mexico.
In Yucatán alone, five deaths have resulted from 125 cases registered since flu season began in early October.
Neighboring Quintana Roo has had 64 cases and two deaths and Chiapas had 60 cases and two deaths.
Meanwhile, Mexico City has 105 cases and three deaths, and the State of Mexico, 59 cases and one death.
That said, Mexico’s flu season is less severe than previous years. The current strain, H3N2, is less dangerous than previous ones. Nearly 50 fewer flu patients have died this year than in the same period in 2019.
Hugo López Gatell, undersecretary of health prevention and promotion, explained that generally the spread of this virus occurs in a first wave from north to south, but for four years an unusual phenomenon has consisted of a second wave of lower intensity coming from the south.
“It has been identified that, possibly, tourist displacements from the southern hemisphere could be contributing to this out-of-cycle dispersion that comes from south to north instead of north to south. The epidemiology of infectious diseases has particularities and sometimes these are changing, but it is nothing that is out of the expected,” he said.
According to the weekly report of the General Directorate of Epidemiology of the Ministry of Health, this influenza season, as of Dec. 20, presents a stable behavior with low levels of viral activity.
Continued cool weather will not help the situation. Most of Mexico is still under the chill of Cold Front No. 24, and No. 25 is already emerging north of Baja California.
“Because low temperatures are expected in different regions of the country, we are encouraged to wear warm clothes and give special attention to children, the elderly and the sick,” reads the current government meteorological report. “Heavy rains are expected in northern Chiapas; very strong in southern Veracruz, eastern Oaxaca and southern Tabasco; strong in Campeche, Yucatán and Quintana Roo; intervals of showers in San Luis Potosí, Querétaro, Hidalgo, State of Mexico and Puebla, and isolated rains in Baja California, Michoacán, Guerrero, Mexico City and Tlaxcala.”