No new cases reported in United States, CDC says
SATURDAY, April 25 (HealthDay News) -- Mexican authorities continued to take dramatic steps Saturday to try to contain the swine flu outbreak that has killed as many as 68 people, and sickened more than 1,000 others.
While the number of confirmed cases of swine flu in the United States remained unchanged at eight, Dr. Anne Schuchat, the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Interim Deputy Director for Science and Public Health Program, told reporters on Saturday that her agency was "worried, and because we are worried we are acting aggressively on a number of fronts" to investigate the outbreak. She added that, because of the wide geographic spread of the virus so far, the outbreak is already "beyond containment."
But Schuchat added that U.S. health officials had numerous tools to fight the illness' spread and protect the health of Americans.
Earlier in the day, the head of the World Health Organization said that the outbreak has the potential to develop into a pandemic.
WHO Director-General Margaret Chan said the outbreak involves "an animal strain of the H1N1 virus, and it has pandemic potential." But, she added, it was too early to say whether a pandemic would occur, the Associated Press reported.
Twenty-four suspected new cases of swine flu were reported Saturday in Mexico City alone. The government ordered schools closed and all public events have been suspended for the time being, including more than 500 concerts and other gatherings in the city of 20 million residents, the AP said.
The WHO has advised countries around the world to look for similar outbreaks.
All patients in the United States -- six from California and two from Texas -- have recovered from their infections.
Speaking to reporters in a Saturday afternoon teleconference, the CDC's Schuchat said that "at present there are
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