First Swine Flu Death Reported in United States
A 23-month-old child died in Texas from the swine flu virus, according to a report by the Associated Press.
“Even though we’ve been expecting this, it is very, very sad,” said Dr. Richard Besser, acting chief of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “As a pediatrician and a parent, my heart goes out to the family.”
In what has become standard operating procedure in this widening health crisis, Besser went from network to network Wednesday morning to give an update on what the Obama administration is doing. He said authorities essentially are still “trying to learn more about this strain of the flu.” His appearances as Germany reported its first cases of swine flu infection, with three victims.
“It’s very important that people take their concern and channel it into action,” Besser said, adding that “it is crucial that people understand what they need to do if symptoms appear.
“I don’t think it (the reported death in Texas) indicates any change in the strain,” he said. “We see with any flu virus a spectrum of disease symptoms.”
Health officials say that 66 cases of swine flu have been reported in the United States. More than 150 people have died because of the virus in Mexico, where more than 2,000 have been affected. Mexico’s health secretary, Jose Cordova, late Tuesday called the death toll there “more or less stable.”