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Swine Flu Cases Rising in U.S., World

More Cases Confirmed in U.S., Cases Also Reported in Canada and Spain

By Miranda Hitti
WebMD Health News

Reviewed By Louise Chang, MD

April 27, 2009 -- Swine flu shows no signs of slowing down, with twice as many confirmed cases in the U.S. today as there were yesterday. And two more countries -- Canada and Spain -- have reported their first confirmed swine flu cases.

At a news conference in Geneva this morning, World Health Organization (WHO) spokesman Gregory Hartl announced that there are now 40 lab-confirmed cases of swine flu in the U.S., 26 lab-confirmed cases in Mexico, six in Canada, and one in Spain. Hartl notes that swine flu has been mild everywhere except Mexico, and that the reasons for that still aren't clear. Although there have been many more cases of illness reported in Mexico, the WHO figure refers only to cases that have been verified as swine flu.

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A CDC spokesperson confirmed the U.S. figure and notes that the additional U.S. cases are in New York.

The World Health Organization is meeting right now to discuss whether to raise its pandemic alert level, which is currently at phase 3.

The WHO has a scale ranging from phase 1 (low risk of a flu pandemic) to phase 6 (a full-blown pandemic is under way). The phase 4 level indicates person-to-person transmission in a limited geographical area; phase 5 indicates that a virus is present in several places.

(This is a breaking news story. WebMD Health Network will be updating coverage throughout the day.)

SOURCES: Gregory Hartl, spokesman, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland. CDC.

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