- The Washington Times - Friday, May 1, 2009

The number of confirmed cases of swine flu in the United States increased Friday to 141 in 19 states, compared to 109 in 11 states the previous day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

CDC officials said supplies from the agency’s Strategic National Stockpile are being sent to all 50 states, the District and U.S. territories to help them respond to the outbreak. They also said the federal government and manufacturers have started developing a vaccine against the new H1N1 virus.

Arizona has four confirmed cases, California has 13, Colorado has two, Delaware has four, Illinois has three, Indiana has three, Kansas has two, Kentucky has one, Massachusetts has two, Michigan has two, Minnesota has one, Nebraska has one, Nevada has one, New Jersey has three, New York has 50, Ohio has one, South Carolina has 16, Texas has 28, and Virginia has two.

There has been one U.S. death, a toddler from Mexico died this week in Texas.

The number of confirmed cases worldwide is 331 in 11 countries, the World Health Organization said Friday.

The U.S. has 109, Austria has one, Canada has 34, Germany has three, Israel has two, the Netherlands has one, New Zealand has three, Spain has 13, Switzerland has one, the United Kingdom has eight and Mexico has 156 — including nine deaths, according to the organization.

France’s health minister Roselyne Bachelot today confirmed the country’s first two cases — a 49-year-old man and a 24-year-old woman, both recently returned from Mexico.

The start of the outbreak was reported about a week ago in Mexico, where health officials report higher numbers: more than 165 deaths and 2,500 suspected cases.

U.S. officials say the number of seasonal flu-related deaths here is about 36,000 a year and they expects more cases and deaths from this outbreak.

Dr. Anne Schuchat, the CDC’s interim deputy director for Science and Public Health Program, said the most recent case was confirmed April 28, which suggests the virus continues to spread. She also said the U.S. has sent roughly 400,000 anti-flu drugs to Mexico.

President Obama called his Cabinet together on the issue Friday and said afterward the federal government is working with chambers of commerce on preparing if workers must stay home with school-age children and for the possibility other countries will seek help in the face of a global pandemic.

He said the virus is of special concern because of its severity on young, health people in Mexico with stable immune systems.

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