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Swine Flu Cases Still Up, But U.S. Officials Are Guardedly Optimistic
Date:5/4/2009

level from red -- or "high" -- to orange -- or "elevated," CNN reported.

"The measures we have taken, and above all the public's reaction, have led to an improvement," Mexico City Mayor Marcelo Ebrard said at a news conference. "But I insist that the virus is still present, that we need to remain on alert, and the resumption of activities will be little by little, not all at once."

As with the previously tested strains of the swine flu virus, new testing has found that the pathogen remains susceptible to the two common antiviral drugs Tamiflu and Relenza, according to the CDC.

Since schools are the focus of many of the outbreaks, the CDC has issued revised recommendations for school closings.

Because children may shed the virus longer than adults, the agency is now recommending that affected schools remain closed for two weeks instead of one, Dr. Anne Schuchat, interim deputy director for the CDC's science and public health program, said during a teleconference on Saturday.

The U.S. Education Department has said that more than 430 schools had closed, affecting about 245,000 children.

St. Francis Preparatory School, the Catholic school that was at the center of swine flu reports in New York City last week, reopened for classes on Monday after being shuttered for a week. City Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Frieden said there were 73 confirmed cases of swine flu in the city and six probable cases awaiting diagnosis. Almost all the patients have ties to St. Francis, a few have ties to Mexico, and three cases have no known link to either, Frieden said, The New York Times reported.

In a strange twist on Saturday, swine flu was discovered for the first time during this outbreak in pigs. WHO officials reported that the virus had been detected in sick pigs on a farm in Alberta, Canada.

Until now, it was not known whether the virus could infect pigs, even though its genetic makeup clear
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