New Suspected Swine Flu Cases

April 28, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
There are new suspected cases of swine flu Tuesday morning in the U.S. and overseas. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Swine Flu: General Information
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The number of confirmed cases in California is now 13. Health officials say most of the 50 U.S. cases of swine flu are mild and none have been fatal.

When it comes to the swine flu, public health officials in the U.S. are gearing up for the long-haul. "This is a marathon, not a sprint. We could actually see it go somewhat dormant in the hot months of the summer only to come back in the fall," said Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano.

Across the United States, the number of confirmed cases is now 50, with three students near Sacramento being diagnosed late Monday.

President Obama said, "This is, obviously, a cause for concern and requires a heightened state of alert. But it's not a cause for alarm."

The president is preaching calm. But health officials warn the disease could turn deadly at any time. And unlike typical flu strains that normally kill the elderly, this swine flu is killing healthy, young adults.

Dr. Jonathan Jacobs, Weil Cornell Medical Center said, "This is unusual. It may be similar to what we've seen in previous pandemics where young people are the primary people affected."

Around the globe, swine flu has now been confirmed in nine countries from Canada to New Zealand. Many in Mexico have died, causing the World Health Organization to raise the pandemic alert level. "This can really be interpreted as is a significant step towards pandemic influenza. But also it is a phase which says we are 'not there yet'," said Dr. Keiji Fukuda with the World Health Organization.

Last year, more than 13-million people traveled from Mexico to the U.S. and more than 20-million Americans went across the border. But even before the U.S. government issued a warning against travel to Mexico, passengers were already changing plans and some returned to the U.S. early. "I don't want to be around crowds and stuff like that until we find out just what we're dealing with," said one passenger.

Common flu medications are effective against this swine flu if given within the first 48 hours of symptoms. The U.S. government is now shipping out twelve-million doses to states in need.

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