Infections reported for first time in the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region
TUESDAY, April 28 (HealthDay News) -- The number of confirmed cases of swine flu in the United States has doubled to 40, U.S. health officials said Monday, with all the new cases coming from a New York City high school that had previously reported eight cases of the infectious disease.
Some news reports Tuesday were listing the number of U.S. cases at 50, but the World Health Organization was still reporting 40 confirmed cases.
The Associated Press reported Tuesday that the epidemic had crossed new borders, with the first cases confirmed in the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region. Meanwhile, the number of deaths in Mexico -- thought to be the source of the outbreak that continues to reach around the world -- surpassed 150. Mexico is the only country to report deaths caused by the never-before-seen strain of flu. Cases in all other countries have been described as mild.
Despite the reports out of Mexico, there was a glimmer of good news. The number of new swine flu cases reported by Mexico's largest government hospitals has been declining the past three days, government officials said, from 141 on Saturday to 119 on Sunday and 110 Monday, the AP reported.
Still, on Monday, U.S. officials said they were tightening their travel advisory to Mexico, recommending that all nonessential travel to that country be avoided.
And late Monday, the World Health Organization raised the alert level over swine flu from 3 to 4, two levels shy of declaring a pandemic. A level 4 alert means there is sustained human-to-human transmission of the virus causing outbreaks in at least one country.
"This situation is evolving very quickly, it is changing quickly," Dr. Richard Besser, acting director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said during a Monday afternoon teleconference. "We are offici
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