Mexico prepares for shutdown of many public services to head off infections
THURSDAY, April 30 (HealthDay News) -- The number of confirmed swine flu cases in the United States has surpassed 100, federal health officials said Thursday.
Meanwhile, Mexico -- believed to be the source of the outbreak -- braced for a shutdown of all non-essential services as authorities sought to limit further infections in that country, where the virus is suspected of causing 168 deaths so far.
"Today I am reporting 109 confirmed cases within the United States," Dr. Richard Besser, acting head of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said during a Thursday morning teleconference. "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 infected is 22 months to 81 years, he said.
"Six of the cases have been hospitalized, including the unfortunate case we reported yesterday of the child in Texas who passed away," he said.
The never-before-seen 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 a
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