Swine Flu: WHO Says “Level 5;” Cases: 51 In New York, Over 100 Nation-Wide in 10 States; Napolitano “Clarifies” Border Assessment

Ten U.S. states are now confirmed to have the H1N1 flu virus, also called the Mexican or Swine Flu….51 in New York, 14 in California and 16 in Texas. Two cases have been confirmed in Kansas, Massachusetts and Michigan, while a single cases have been reported in Arizona, Indiana, Nevada and Ohio.

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GENEVA (Reuters) – World Health Organization director-general Dr. Margaret Chan raised the pandemic threat awareness level to 5 out of 6 on Wednesday, meaning the world is at imminent risk of a pandemic from H1N1 swine flu.

 

“I have decided to raise the level of influenza pandemic alert from phase 4 to phase 5,” Chan told a news briefing.

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Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is asserting that the description she initially gave of the border swine-flu monitoring effort no longer applies.

Appearing Wednesday before a Senate panel, Napolitano said that “passive surveillance” is “not an accurate picture of what is going on” at U.S. entry points. She had used that term Tuesday morning to describe the nature of the monitoring for illness.

On Wednesday, Napolitano said that U.S. officials are “actively” questioning visitors at the border, asking questions about “whether they are ill, their travel history and the like.”

She also discounted turning to thermal meters to gauge whether people are carrying a fever, and Napolitano also said she does not believe the facts of the current situation would merit closing the borders.

From : AP

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A Mexican toddler in Texas has died of the new swine flu virus, the first confirmed death outside Mexico, as the World Health Organization said the outbreak showed clear signs of spreading around the world.

Nearly a week after the threat first emerged in Mexico, Spain reported the first case in Europe of swine flu in a person who had not been to Mexico, underscoring the threat of person-to-person transmission.

“It is clear that the virus is spreading and we don’t see evidence of it slowing down at this point,” Dr. Keiji Fukuda, WHO acting assistant director-general, told a news briefing.

With Germany and Austria reporting cases, bringing the number of affected countries to 9, Fukuda said the WHO was moving loser to raising its pandemic alert to phase five, the second highest level possible.

U.S. officials said that a 22-month-old boy had died in Texas — the first confirmed U.S. swine flu death — but they added that he was on a family visit from Mexico, where up to 159 flu fatalities have been recorded.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090429/ts_nm/
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From CNN:

There are 132 confirmed cases in 11 countries, the majority in the United States, according to the WHO and the Centers for Disease Control. Those figures include seven deaths in Mexico and one in the United States.

The virus spread to five more U.S. states, and the number of people in the United States infected with the 2009 H1N1 influenza strain grew to 91, the Centers for Disease Control reported on Wednesday.

….

Governments around the world are scrambling to prevent further outbreak.

Some, such as China and Russia, have banned pork imports from the United States and Mexico, though the World Health Organization says the disease is not transmitted through eating or preparing pig meat.

Several others countries, such as Japan and Indonesia, are using thermographic devices to test the temperature of passengers arriving from Mexico.

http://edition.cnn.com/2009/H
EALTH/04/29/swine.flu.interna
tional/index.html

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New York Times:

Public health officials said Congress had missed an opportunity by excising nearly $900 million in proposed financing for pandemic flu preparation from this year’s stimulus bill. It was to be the final installment of President George W. Bush’s request for $7 billion in federal spending on vaccines, medical equipment and planning. Congress last allocated money for pandemic planning by state and local governments in 2006 — about $600 million over two years, said Dr. Paul E. Jarris, executive director of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials.

“The entire system is lining up to decrease resources at the time we need them most,” Dr. Jarris said. “We have to realize that we’re at the starting line. The stress will come if this escalates.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2009
/04/30/health/30states.html?_r=1&hp

http://hotair.com/archives/200
9/04/29/first-us-swine-flu-death-confirmed/

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