The Mexican League has canceled all upcoming weekend games and has postponed several others due to the rising threat of the deadly Swine Flu, league officials announced on Thursday.
All 16 teams in the Triple-A league have been playing in front of empty ballparks, as per a government recommendation, since April 28. Regularly scheduled games for April 30 will be played, but ballparks will close their doors afterward in the wake of the flu outbreak.
The league released a statement, saying it would respect the government's recommendation to suspend activity until next week. Many churches, gyms, museums and movie theaters have already shut down in the country.
At least 12 people in Mexico, the center of the Swine Flu outbreak, have officially died from the illness. The World Health Organization reports at least 257 cases of the flu have been confirmed worldwide, with over 100 of those coming from the United States. According to a New York Times report on Thursday, at least 170 deaths are suspected and as many as 2,500 people may be infected with the virus.
The Mexican League said it hopes to resume play by May 6, with eight double-headers scheduled. Games originally set for this weekend, May 1-3, have been canceled and will not be made up.
Mexican president Felipe Calderón has encouraged most public services and private businesses to be closed from May 1-5.