Mexico's frenzied battle to contain swine flu has produced an unlikely star in its previously obscure health secretary, Jose Angel Cordova. The top health official has won praise for his handling of the epidemic, particularly his detailed public briefings on the virus' spread, which he delivered daily. With the threat of swine flu appearing to recede in recent days, some experts are crediting Cordova's rapid and far-reaching response with preventing a major disaster. "I think we should all shout, 'Gracias, Mexico!' I believe the Mexicans have prevented a true pandemic from happening," a senior fellow in the global health program at the Council on Foreign Relations told the Washington Post.