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Swine Flu Infections Now Top 140 in U.S.
Date:5/1/2009

ied, becoming the first -- and so far, only -- fatality in the United States.

Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, CDC acting director Dr. Richard Besser said that while most cases appear to be mild, "six of the cases have been hospitalized, including the unfortunate case we reported yesterday of the child in Texas who passed away."

The flu strain is a combination of pig, bird and human viruses, prompting worries from health officials that humans may have no natural immunity to the pathogen.

Besser said federal health officials "continue to be very aggressive in our approach and we will continue to do that until the situation tells us that we no longer need to do so. There's no one action that is going to stop this. There is no silver bullet, but all the efforts -- the efforts of government, the efforts of communities and the efforts of individuals -- will help to reduce the impact on people's health."

"There are things people can do," he said, including "handwashing, covering coughs, staying at home when they are sick.

The vaccine plan is to complete the production of seasonal flu vaccine for next winter and then switch to production of a vaccine for the H1N1 swine flu, if needed, Besser said.

All of the cases diagnosed in the United States continue to be mild, federal health officials said Thursday.

The swine flu outbreak has even touched the White House -- an aide to Energy Secretary Steven Chu apparently got sick while helping arrange President Barack Obama's recent trip to Mexico. The aide did not fly on Air Force One, however, and never posed a risk to the president, the Associated Press reported.

On Wednesday, Obama said that U.S. public health officials were recommending that schools with confirmed or suspected cases of swine flu "should strongly consider temporarily closing so that we can be as safe as possible."

Nearly 300 schools have been closed nat
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