Mexico -- thought to be source of outbreak -- reports leveling off of cases
FRIDAY, May 1 (HealthDay News) -- The number of confirmed swine flu cases in the United States has surpassed 100, federal health officials said Thursday, but the infections continue to be mild.
In response to the outbreak, scientists are racing to produce a vaccine for all Americans against the never-before-seen flu strain, but the shots -- if needed at all -- wouldn't be available until fall at the earliest, federal health officials said.
"We think 600 million doses is achievable in a six-month time frame" from that fall start, Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary Craig Vanderwagen told lawmakers Thursday.
Meanwhile, the news out of Mexico -- believed to be the source of the outbreak -- offered some hope late Thursday as Health Secretary Jose Angel Cordova said the number of new swine flu cases seemed to be leveling off.
"The fact that we have a stabilization in the daily numbers, even a drop, makes us optimistic," Cordova said at a news conference. "Because what we'd expect is geometric or exponential growth. And that hasn't been the situation."
Still, Mexico braced for a shutdown of all non-essential services through Tuesday as authorities sought to limit further infections in that country, where the virus is suspected of causing 168 deaths so far.
In the United States, at a Thursday morning news conference, Dr. Richard Besser, acting head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said, "Today I am reporting 109 confirmed cases within the United States. We have 11 affected states. There are many more states that have suspect cases," he added.
There are 50 confirmed cases in New York, 26 in Texas, 14 in California, 10 in South Carolina, two each in Kansas and Massachusetts and one each in Arizona, Indiana, Michigan, Nevada, and Ohio, Besser said. The age range of those infec
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