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Duke curtails Mexico travel due to swine flu

Duke has limited travel to Mexico due to the swine flu outbreak.

The University added Mexico to its Restricted Regions List Tuesday in response to Centers for Disease Control guidelines recommending that individuals avoid nonessential travel to Mexico.

Among the programs affected by the declaration are the Duke in Mexico summer program and the Mexico portion of the DukeEngage in Tucson program.

The Duke in Mexico program was canceled Wednesday, the Durham Herald-Sun reported (Registration required).

Students who were planning to study Spanish in Mexico will now learn language and culture from afar—the program has been moved to Duke's campus in Durham, according to Duke's Preparing for Pandemic Flu Web site.

The DukeEngage program in Tucson will still be held, but students will not travel to Mexico during the program, DukeEngage Director Eric Mlyn wrote in an e-mail to students signed up for DukeEngage programs and their parents.

"We will continue to monitor this situation closely and will be in touch if any significant changes in programs or schedules occur," Mlyn wrote. "Please be assured that all decisions will be guided by the latest recommendations of public health officials and by our concern for the health and safety of our participants."

Several other universities have canceled Mexico programs in response to swine flu as well, The Chronicle of Higher Education reported. In the Triangle, North Carolina State University canceled its summer study abroad program in Mexico, News14 reported.

There are now 141 confirmed cases of swine flu, also known as H1N1, and one death from the virus in the United States, the CDC reported Friday morning. Worldwide, there are at least 331 cases, according to the World Health Organization's Web site.

For more information about the University's response to swine flu, visit the Preparing for Pandemic Flu Web site the University has set up.


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