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Corona Mexicans react to swine flu death toll ‘back home’

While the death toll due to the swine flu rises to 152 in Mexico, in Corona Mexicans struggle to keep up with news from back home.

“Yes, I have spoken to them and they know people who have died,” said Rosa Bonilla, whose family lives in Mexico City one of the areas in the country hit particularly hard with the swine flu. “They are using the masks. I’m worried.”

Bonilla’s family has altered their schedule completely, especially since now her 7-year-old brother cannot return to school because all schools will be closed at least until May 6. She said that they have stopped going out except to shop for groceries.

“I’ve been calling them daily, which is more than usual, because I’m worried about what’s going on,” she said.

A few other Mexicans in Corona, mainly from the Northern State of Puebla, said that they weren’t worried about their families who lived far from Mexico City. Sisters Maria and Juana, who declined to give their last names, said that the swine flu had not yet reached their state. But Maria added that she also had heard that the worst stage had passed. Neither sister had called home recently.

“My family is fine. They are in the North in Puebla,” said Eric Ramirez Torres, another Mexican in the area. “Around there, no one has heard about this.”

According to interviews given by the Consul General of Mexico Ruben Beltran, the Mexican government was “taking all precautions.” He continued to say that no infections had been reported in the resort regions and that the infections seemed to be in the State of Mexico, in the inland State of San Luis de Potosi. The clustered infections in Mexico, however, also allowed some local Mexicans to feel a bit more relaxed.

In a statement sent to the press, the Mexican Consulate in New York said that they have been in “permanent and direct communication with the Mexican community in the tri-state area in respect to the swine flu cases registered in diverse Mexican cities and in the United States.”

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