Hispanic church reaction to Swine Flu - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Hispanic church reaction to Swine Flu

By Wainwright Jeffers - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Mexico City, one of the world's largest cities, came to a virtual standstill over the last week because of fears over swine flu.

The government says businesses there can reopen Thursday.

It's been a nervous time for south Georgians with loved ones in Mexico.

Members at a local Hispanic church shared their reaction about the outbreak.

Eduardo Avalos came to church Wednesday night for bible study, but he's also worried about family members in Mexico.

"Three sisters, my big brother, my mother, aunties, all my family is in Mexico. I think it's a little controlled now, but I'm still worried about it," said Eduardo Avalos.

His family lives near Mexico City which is being called Ground Zero for the swine flu virus.

"They stayed in the house for one week, no schools, no work," said Avalos.

As things return to normal there, here in Albany the pastor says only a small percent of members at Centro Cristiano Victoria are from Mexico.

Unlike Eduardo, most of the other parishioners aren't too concerned.

"I called one up and said are you afraid of what's going on with this Swine Flu? He said no everything is fine we're not worried about it," said Pastor Jose Mendoza, Centro Cristiano Victoria.

Though there are no confirmed cases in our area, Pastor Mendoza says it's common sense to take precautions no matter where you live.

"You have to cover up your mouth using your arm or your sleeve, and not cough in front of everyone," said Mendoza.

Concern about the virus isn't a one way street, his family members are also worried about him since they know the virus has spread.

"They're as concerned about me as I am about them," said Avalos.

Edwardo's family and everyone he knows in Mexico are safe.

Mexican health officials confirmed more than 1,000 cases of swine flu and 42 deaths.

So far two people have died in the US.

There are four confirmed cases in Georgia but none in our area.

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