April 27th, 2009
12:15 PM ET
14 years ago

Clinton urges American travelers take 'caution'

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/04/27/art.hrccheek0427.gi.jpg caption="Secretary of State Clinton explained Monday what her agency is doing to respond to the swine flu outbreak."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Monday said the State Department is working with both domestic and international agencies to combat swine flu.

She said the State Department is "urging caution" for Americans considering travel.

"We have put up on our Web site information urging caution for those who are planning to travel," Clinton said at a photo-taking session at the State Department Monday morning.

So far the State Department has not issued a specific travel warning for Mexico or elsewhere.

She said the State Department was coordinating "very closely" with other federal agencies including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Homeland Security.

"We are taking this very seriously and working also with the World Health Organization … to try to develop a strategy to prevent the spread of this form of swine flu. We do believe that our efforts are developed and prepared to confront this wherever it might occur inside our own country. And enhanced cooperation across boundaries will be very important," Clinton said.

And she said the U.S. had offered help and assistance to the government of Mexico to make sure they have the resources and the technical expertise they might need.

Earlier, the State Department said it had sent a cable to all posts worldwide urging employees to be on the lookout for swine flu symptoms among
their colleagues and family and to take precautions to prevent catching the
flu, officials said.

The cable, dispatched Sunday, encouraged the posts to review guidelines for a pandemic, as a precautionary measure, officials said. Those guidelines were updated recently with the worldwide outbreak of avian flu.

The U.S. Embassy in Mexico City has suspended non-emergency services through Thursday due to the outbreak of swine flu, the State Department said on its Web site Monday.

In a warden message sent to American citizens, the embassy said it was taking the measure in accordance with measures announced by the City of Mexico to limit the congregation of large crowds" through April 30. The embassy is closed for a holiday on Friday.

Visas will not be issued and only Americans with extenuating circumstances will be permitted in the embassy, the advisory said.

These are precautionary measures only, taken to best assure the well-being of our clients and staff, the advisory said.

- CNN's Elise Labott contributed to this report.

Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Swine Flu
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. Chamorrita, MD

    Anyone traveling now is crazy. Americans need to heed the travel warnings, but as usual, they won't. Americans are too stubborn for their own good most times.

    April 27, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  2. Obama 2.0

    Do not kiss strangers on the plane, bars, resteraunts or bathrooms when traveling abroad 😉

    April 27, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  3. obama/mama

    Telling Americans not to leave the country is like telling on of the actors in a scary movie not to go back into the house where the killer is....

    April 27, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  4. David

    yeah, please take precautions over something we are behind and developed.

    April 27, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  5. Jim

    I was not a Hillary for pres. backer, however, she is doing an outstanding job as Sec of State. And we are blessed to have her in that position.
    If we dont panic and wash our hands and take simple common sense toward clean hygiene we should be fine. However, it is was to urge caution about travel and to take precautions.
    Great job, Sec. State Clinton!

    April 27, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  6. david, CA

    as a precaution wear a surgical mask to the airport perhaps? But then to do so might present problems to airport security.

    April 27, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  7. Tanya

    I think the U. S. government's response to the potential threat is commendable. But, government cannot do it all–personal responsibility is also required-hand washing, staying home if ill, avoiding travel to potentially hazardous places, etc. This flu may well fizzle out (we hope), but, swift and responsible action by all is the best prevention. Oh-just one other thing-listen to news updates by rational, calm reporters-avoid the typical over-emotional pitch designed to raise the fear and ratings level!!

    April 27, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  8. Lee in Oregon

    Hillary is doing a great job as Secretary of State, a position that suits her well.

    This flu situation is not a laughing matter but a very serious one. Now with more cases reported in the U.S. it is urgent that we all follow the guidelines necessary to help ease the spreading of it. And more importantly if you're sick STAY HOME don't pass your germs off to others!

    Let's hope a vaccine will be available soon.

    April 27, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  9. Larry

    It is amazing that people would even listen to Hillary Clinton – since she did not even know the fact that her husband (while President of the US) was getting off on a regular basis with a White House Intern. Her comments are about as relevant as the Catholic Church's message of sin.

    April 27, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  10. Don B

    Clinton, the unqualified apointee, is giving advice that your bartender or barber gives, buit she is touted as being an expert on evreyghng. Common sense dictates not to travel where the Swine flu is spreading and at home here in the USA, doctoprs are insisting on cleanliness thru hand washing and covering your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing. Now that's good advice rather than Clinton's self described witch doctor tactics of ignorance. She wouldn't know how to pour pee out of a boot if the instructions were on the heel!

    April 27, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  11. serah

    The flu is now suspected to be in Michigan, Livingston county where a lady who traveled to Texas returned with it and is being treated. As someone has noted that Americans are stubborn to heed to caution its is true, some are ignoring the travel warnings and sneaking to Mexico or its boundaries where some are infected and then returning to their localities with the virus. What do we do?

    April 27, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  12. alan

    Wow! Secretary of State and health care advice diva at the same time! Can this administration get any more all inclusive in their care and feeding of the public. I'd surely be lost without them. Maybe Hilary can give me some lawn care tips.....

    April 27, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  13. mbuck west

    Why hasn't the State Dept issued a travel warning to Mexico? Polictics.

    April 27, 2009 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  14. Anacostia

    Eerily similar to stephen king's book The Stand.

    April 27, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |