It's already killed well over one hundred in Mexico, and tonight US officials are saying there is a good chance swine flu could take the lives of Americans as well, and that's causing many local residents to react strongly.
The fact that surgical masks are being added to many local doctor's offices speaks for itself... People are going above and beyond to protect themselves from swine flu... And for some that even means canceling important travel plans.
Enrique Aguirre just became a great grandfather... But for now, emailed photos are the closest he'll get to the newest member of his family. Making the trip to Mexico to see him in person is just too dangerous. "Until this problem is fixed or the virus is eradicated, we are going to suspend our trip. Hopefully it won't be much longer."
Enrique fears his great-grandson will become the swine flu's next victim. "He is only a few days old and you know that newborns are more susceptible to illness."
That same fear is sending hundreds to local clinics... the proof is in the crowded parking lots. Amarillo Urgent Care's Tiffany Shadle says, "[On Monday] we saw about 80-something patients." That's about 30 more people than they usually see in a day.
We asked several people in the waiting room how they were feeling and their answers were "Headache, fever, nausea... My body is aching, I have chills, and a really bad sore throat." While they're testing every patient with those symptoms, doctors are paying extra close attention to one of them in particular. Shadle says, "We had a little girl come in this morning who was tested positive for flu and her mom just came back from Mexico."
That's exactly why Enrique will stay in Amarillo for now, watching his great-grandson grow through email. "Pray and ask the Lord to keep everyone safe. That's really all we can do. The situation is really out of our hands."
Here's the latest update as of 10:15 on Tuesday night... 159 swine flu deaths worldwide... 66 cases in the United States...Six of them here in Texas. Five Americans are in the hospital, but so far, none of them have died.