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Swine Flu public health emergency declared

Today the United States declared a public health emergency to prepare for the emerging new strain of swine flu. There have been 20 cases of swine flu reported in the United States so far, in five states. Most of the cases occurred in Southern California, with six confirmed cases, and two occurred in Texas, near San Antonio. The latest states are in Ohio and New York. Cases in the U.S. have been mild, in contrast to Mexico, where the same strain has killed at as many as 68 people in Mexico City and at least 1000 others have gotten sick. Mexico City closed schools on Friday to fight the potential for a pandemic spread of the strain of swine flu. Other sources report the confirmed death toll in all of Mexico as 86 killed by the virus. In Canada, six confirmed cases have occurred, all mild as in the U.S., with four cases in Nova Scotia and another two in British Columbia. In New Zealand, swine flu has likely infected 10 students.

Dr. Richard Besser, acting chief of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) predicted more severe disease in the U.S. as more cases are found. The CDC pages for swine flu are here and the CDC Outbreak Notice is here.

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