EU Health Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou said here on Thursday that Europe should be prepared but not panic over the spread of the swine flu.
"We have to be careful, we have to exercise vigilance, we should not panic, we have to be prepared," Vassiliou told reporters as she arrived here for an emergency meeting of EU health ministers in Luxembourg.
The ministers are coordinating measures to contain the spread of the swine flu, which has already claimed more than 170 lives and left more than 2,500 infected in Mexico, where the disease was first found.
EU member states, including Britain, Spain, Austria and Germany, have confirmed nearly 20 cases of the flu, while Switzerland became the fifth European nation to confirm a infected case of the flu early Thursday.
Divisions over whether to ban flights to Mexico remain among the EU nations, with France, Britain, the Netherlands and Italy backing such a ban to stop further spread of the disease.