U.S. health officials say outbreak continues; Obama urges calm; global cases total 331 in 11 countries with 10 deaths
FRIDAY, May 1 (HealthDay News) -- The number of confirmed swine flu cases in the United States has now reached 141 in 19 states, federal health officials reported on Friday.
"That's up eight states since yesterday," Dr. Anne Schuchat, interim deputy director for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's science and public health program, said during a teleconference. "More and more communities are being affected, and more people are being directly impacted by the H1N1 novel virus we are seeing this year. Cases continue to occur."
The new Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sibelius, made the decision to buy 13 million more courses of antivirals to resupply the antiviral stockpile, Schuchat added. "We don't know if we are going to need them, we just wanted to be ready," she said.
In addition, in the last 24 hours, the United States has shipped 400,000 regimens of antivirals to Mexico, believed to be the source of the global outbreak, at the request of the Mexican government, Schuchat added.
Meanwhile, President Barack Obama urged Americans to stay calm Friday, noting that it was not clear whether the global outbreak of the never-before-seen flu strain was any worse than "ordinary flus." But, he added, agencies across the U.S. government are preparing for the worst, according to the Associated Press.
If swine flu "is relatively mild on the front end, it could come back in a more virulent form during the actual flu season," he said at the end of a Cabinet meeting.
Elsewhere, the World Health Organization reported Friday that the number of confirmed cases worldwide has risen from 257 to 331 in 11 countries, with 10 deaths. And Asia announced its first case, in Hong Kong. Officials there quarantined an entire tourist hotel where the victim, a
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