LUXEMBOURG – European Union foreign ministers were assessing the implications of a deadly strain of swine flu in Mexico at talks Monday to ease public concerns over the outbreak.
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said from Athens that EU officials and experts were "following the situation very closely" and reassured Europeans that the health emergency was still limited to the North American continent.
The EU's Health Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou was to brief the EU's 27 foreign ministers here on what the EU could do to coordinate preventative measures against the flu, which is suspected in more than 100 deaths in Mexico.
"There needs to be maximum European coordination," said British Foreign Secretary David Miliband.
"It's important that we ... provide a clear set of running actions that can provide a degree of assurance and coordination that people need, that is something we are determined to do."
Britain and several other EU countries have already issued advisories to people traveling to Mexico, but are now looking to coordinate other possible measures with EU counterparts to stop the spread of the virus.
German deputy Foreign Minister Guenter Gloser said there were no indications yet that German citizens are yet affected.
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, U.S. and Canada.