Mexico breathed easier on Monday in its fight against a deadly flu epidemic that may be retreating after a 10-day scare that has brought much of public life to a standstill.
But new cases of the H1N1 virus, which mixes swine, avian and human flu strains, still appeared across the world, keeping alive fears of a possible pandemic.
The Mexican health ministry announced on Sunday the flu epidemic had passed the worst and experts said the virus might be no more severe than normal flu, although it could still have an impact on world health.
“The virus has entered into a stabilization phase. The cases are starting to decrease,” Mexican President Felipe Calderon said, referring to the illness in his country.
He said Mexico would begin to get back on its feet again this week after shutting restaurants, offices, cinemas and even churches to try to stop the spread of the disease.
“Our objective is to return to normality as soon as possible but what I want is to do that in secure conditions,” Calderon said in a televised interview late on Sunday.