23-month old child from Texas is first swine flu death in US

The US reported its first swine flu death Wednesday, a 23-year old baby in Texas.
The Mexican government said the number of swine flu deaths rose to 159 by Wednesday with another 2,428 suspected cases. Taiwan has placed all returnees from Mexico in quarantine. Germany has confirmed the first case of the disease.
The number of suspected cases in the US rose to 65 Tuesday, April 28, with two suspicious deaths in California. However, hundreds of schoolchildren are reported by the New York health commission to display symptoms.
In Israel a second case was confirmed and the five-year old niece of the first showed flu symptoms. New Zealand had a dozen confirmed cases.
Monday, World Heath Organization official raised its swine flu alert level one step to four, two steps short of full pandemic. Because the mutant virus had spread to several countries and the circle of contamination was impossible to determine, containment was no longer an option and governments should focus on measures for protecting the population, he said.
Infection in all the countries other than Mexico has so far been mild.
The first batches of a swine flu vaccine could be ready in four to six months’ time, but it will take several more months to produce large quantities of it.
Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian health officials will confer on joint measures to stem the spread of swine flu. Egypt has been invited to attend. Jordan has halted agricultural imports from Israel.
WHO’s Level Four means the virus is showing a sustained ability to pass from human to human, and is able to cause community-level outbreaks.
WHO officials did not recommend closing borders or restricting travel. “With the virus being widespread, closing borders or restricting travel has very little effects in stopping the movement of this virus,” they said.
Several countries are screening airport passengers for symptoms and international travel has dropped sharply. Airlines and tourist industries have plunged on international stocks markets while pharmaceuticals are soaring.

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