The European Union called on Monday for an emergency meeting to assess the implications of a deadly strain of swine flu believed to have caused more than 100 deaths in Mexico. "What I can say to European citizens is, yes, we are following the situation very closely and very carefully together with all the member states," EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said in Athens.
He said the health emergency was still limited to the North American continent, but he would press EU health officials to follow the situation hour by hour.
The EU health commissioner was heading to Luxembourg to discuss the issue with foreign ministers from the 27-nation bloc. Barroso wants EU health ministers to convene shortly to look at the dangers of the disease spreading to Europe. The details of such a meeting have to be worked out by the Czech Republic, which holds the EU presidency.
The virus has raised global fears of a pandemic, following confirmed human cases of the disease in Mexico, US and Canada.