US declares emergency as Swine-flu fears grow
The U.S. government declared on Sunday declared a public health emergency to deal with the outbreak of the swine flu in America. Officials reported 20 U.S. cases of swine flu in five states so far, with the latest in Ohio and New York. The new flu strain cases in Mexico have climbed to 1,614, and killed as many as 103 people. Similar to what the government does to prepare for approaching disasters like hurricanes, the federal emergency plan calls for several steps, including moving a flu drug stockpile to areas where it can be used quickly if needed. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napilotano says roughly 12 million doses of the drug Tamiflu are being released from a federal stockpile so that states can get it if needed.
International health officials are concerned that the aggressive virus could infect people worldwide. The outbreak, has prompted the World Health Organization (WHO) to activate its 24-hour “war room” command center. New Zealand reported suspected swine flu cases Monday in a second group of teenage students returning from Mexico. Meanwhile Asian nations with recent past memories of SARS and bird flu outbreaks, began screening North American travelers for fever with thermal scanners.