CDC Confirms 64 Swine Flu Cases in United States

Travel advisory to cancel non-essential trips to Mexico in place
By Jane Parry
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, April 29 (HealthDay News) -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed 64 cases of swine-origin influenza A (H1N1) virus in the United States as of April 28, including five cases requiring hospitalization. The cases have occurred across five states, including 45 in New York, 10 in California, six in Texas, two in Kansas and one in Ohio, according to a dispatch on April 28 in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

The disease appears to be milder than in Mexico, according to Richard Besser, M.D., the CDC's acting director, but more severe cases and deaths can be expected, he stated. The first U.S. death due to the infection was confirmed on April 29, in a 23-month-old infant in Texas.

The CDC is working closely with the World Health Organization and has issued a travel advisory recommending that non-essential travel to Mexico be cancelled, and has also issued guidelines to minimize the risk of flu for those who must travel to the country, Besser explained, adding that antiviral drugs and personal protective materials for health care workers are being distributed from the national stockpile.

The public should continue to be encouraged to take simple but effective protective measures, especially frequent handwashing and use of alcohol gels to reduce the risk of infection, and taking home isolation measures, extended to family members in states with confirmed cases, if they have flu-like symptoms, according to Besser.

"We're going to see different actions taken in different communities," Besser said. "We expect and we hope that public health professionals are going to tailor their actions based on what's going on in their particular communities."

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