Mexico City Issues First Air Pollution Alert Since 2005, Report Says

AerialViewPhotochemicalSmogMexicoCity_2For the first time in 11 years, the Mexico City government declared an air pollution alert Monday after ozone levels reached twice the acceptable limit, the Associated Press reported. The city’s government credited the conditions to a high-pressure system and intense sunlight.

The alert issued Monday requires older and more heavily polluting vehicles to stay off the road Tuesday and limits the highly polluting industrial processes. Officials recommended that people stay indoors and not perform vigorous exercise outdoors, as ozone is a part of smog that can cause respiratory problems.

While a rule was previously introduced to discourage cars over 8 years old amid Mexico City’s regular, high smog levels, that rule had recently been relaxed by a court order, according to the AP. Environmental activists and officials have argued that it has led to more cars on the streets.

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Mexico’s ‘lost generation’ of drug addicts

3/13/2016 Aljazeera

mexican drugsMorelia, Michoacan – “The third time I almost died was because of a speedball. I’d made a lot of money on a sale and I blew it up in my veins: coke into this arm; heroin into the other,” said Oliver Cortes Sanchez, 21, slapping first his left forearm, then his right.

His skin is pinholed with scar tissue and seamed with pale track marks. “I was surprised to wake up. The friend I was with didn’t abandon me. I’m not sure I’d have done the same. I lived among wolves back then.”

Oliver makes unflinching eye contact when he talks, all cagey sincerity. His fellow residents at the CeVIDA recovery centre outside Morelia – the capital of Mexico’s troubled western state of Michoacan – were playing a lively game of football on a dirt pitch, but the noise didn’t distract him. He and the other eight builders are all young recovering addicts or ex-gang members, working to complete CeVIDA’s new rehab centre.

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Swine Flu Outbreak: Mexico Sees Jump In H1N1 Cases With 68 Deaths This Season, Health Ministry Says

Swine flu masks3/3/2016 IB Times

Mexico’s health ministry said Wednesday that the country has seen a spike in cases of the H1N1 virus, commonly known as swine flu. The Mexican government has detected 945 cases of H1N1 and 68 deaths this season, as opposed to only four cases and no deaths last season.

Swine flu comprised only one-third of all flu infections this season, but has proven deadly as nearly 70 percent of the deaths have been attributed to H1N1, Reuters reported. Mexico’s flu season usually begins in October and continues until March.

Authorities reportedly said that despite a striking rise in the number of cases, schools should not be closed.

Mexico says 11 pregnant women infected with Zika

3/1/16 Reuters

Mexico has confirmed 11 pregnant women are infected with the Zika virus, out of a total of 121 cases, the government said on Monday.

Most of the cases were identified in the southern Mexican states of Chiapas and Oaxaca, according to a health ministry report.

Eight of the pregnant women are from Chiapas, two are from Oaxaca, and one is from the Gulf coast state of Veracruz, the health ministry reported.

The number of cases of infected pregnant women has risen since mid-February, when the health ministry said there were 80 confirmed cases of Zika, including six cases of pregnant women with the virus.

Much remains unknown about Zika, including whether the virus actually causes microcephaly, a condition marked by unusually small heads that can result in developmental problems.

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Mexico issues alert after radioactive material stolen

3/1/16 CNN

HAZMAT_Class_7_Radioactive(CNN)The Mexican government has issued an alert for a large swath of central Mexico after the theft of an industrial device containing radioactive material.

The device, used for industrial radiography, was being transported in a pickup that was stolen early Saturday in the state of Queretaro, Mexico’s National Commission of Nuclear Security and Safety said.

The agency did not say whether the radioactive material was the target of the theft, or if the truck thieves made off with more than they bargained for.

The radioactive material inside the device is Iridium-192, the nuclear commission said. The material can be deadly if removed from its protective shielding.

The nuclear commission was alerted to the stolen radioactive material Sunday and issued an alert to authorities in six Mexican states and the Federal Highway Police to be on the lookout for the stolen Chevrolet Silverado truck.

Number of Zika cases rises to 93 in Mexico

2/23/16 Fox Latino

Zika virusThe number of registered cases of the Zika virus in Mexico has risen to 93, with 13 new cases diagnosed since last week, the Health Secretariat said.

Nine new cases were reported in the southeastern state of Chiapas, two in the southern state of Oaxaca, one in the southern state of Guerrero and one in the western state of Michoacan, Deputy Health Secretary Pablo Kuri said.

The focus should be on preventing the disease’s spread as the warm months approach by attacking the breeding grounds of the mosquitoes that carry the illness, Kuri said.

The Zika virus, which is mainly transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, causes fever, joint pain and rashes.

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Mexico says six pregnant women infected with Zika

2/16/16 Reuters 

Zika virusMexico has confirmed six pregnant women are infected with the Zika virus, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 80, the government said.

They are believed to be the first confirmed cases of Zika in pregnant women in Mexico.

More than half of the total cases of Zika and four of the infected women were detected in the poor southern state of Chiapas, a report from the health ministry said late on Monday.

Pope Francis visited Chiapas on Monday, drawing crowds of thousands.

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