Swine Flu Cases in 5 States

April 27, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Public health experts say people shouldn't panic while they try to contain a deadly swine flu outbreak. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Swine Flu: General Information
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Mexico is the hardest hit with a rising death toll. Mexico's Federal Health Secretary said the number of suspected swine flu deaths has now topped 100 with more than 1,600-hundred cases. The U.S. is now monitoring the border.

Here in the U.S., five states have confirmed 20 cases; including 7 in California. All patients in the U.S. have recovered.

The swine flu, which has killed at least 100 people in Mexico, has arrived in the U.S. Sunday, the Obama administration declared a public health emergency.

"We have 50-million treatment courses of antiviral drugs, Tamiflu and Relenz, in the strategic national stockpile. We are releasing 25-percent of those courses," said Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.

Still, officials insist there is no need for panic. In New York City, there are eight confirmed cases of swine flu at a Queens prep school, after students there returned from a spring break trip to Mexico. "We do not want anyone to be unduly alarmed by a public health emergency," said New York Governor David Paterson (D), "they don't relate to a current emergency, they relate to the potential of an emergency and we don't see that at this point."

In addition to the Empire State, there are twelve more confirmed cases across the country: one in Ohio, two in Kansas, two in Texas and seven in California.

John Brenan, Assistant to the President for Homeland Security said, "Our goal is simple: to communicate information quickly and clearly to our citizens, to rapidly address any new cases that emerge, and to have the capacity to effectively limit the spread."

Work has begun on a vaccine, but researchers concede they need to know more.

Dr. Richard Besser, Centers for Disease Control said, "The severity of the strain. It's sustainability in the community. Do we anticipate that it's a virus that will be here next flu season?"

The best way to protect yourself against swine flu: good, basic hygiene such as frequent hand washing and staying home if you're sick.

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