Second swine flu death in US, global cases now 1,516 (Roundup)

May 6th, 2009 - 7:20 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington/Geneva, May 6 (IANS) The US has reported the second death from influenza A (H1N1), which is better known as swine flu, as the worldwide cases totalled 1,516 Wednesday.
A woman in her 30s died of swine flu in Texas, US state health authorities confirmed Tuesday.

The woman lived in Cameron county, near the US-Mexico border, and also suffered from other chronic health problems, said Carrie Williams, a spokeswoman for the Texas department of State Health Services.

The woman died last week, Williams said.

With this, the death toll in the US from swine flu climbed to two. Last week, a 23-month-old boy from Mexico City died in a Houston hospital.

The official US count was 403 cases in 38 states. New York reported 90 cases, Illinois 82, California 49, Delaware 20 and Texas 41.

US Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Tuesday, “We know there will be more cases. The numbers will go up and unfortunately there are likely to be more hospitalizations and more deaths.”

In Geneva, the World Health Organisation updated the number of global laboratory-confirmed cases of the H1N1 virus to 1,516 in 22 countries, DPA news agency reported.

Mexico, where swine flu originated, reported 822 laboratory-confirmed cases, including 29 deaths, and Canada reported 165 cases, said the UN health agency on its website.

In Europe, Spain was hardest hit with 57 cases, followed by Britain which reported 27 cases of swine flu.

The WHO has said there was no evidence so far of sustained human-to-human transmission at the community level outside of North America. The agency, however, said it would maintain its swine flu pandemic alert at phase 5, one below the highest.

WHO officials have cautioned authorities to be on alert for possible spikes in the number of cases and called on individuals to practice good hygiene.

While the disease was so far showing its mild side for the most part, that could change, WHO officials have warned.

Due to the swine flu, Mexico’s economy has been hit hard and now Mexico has submitted a request to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) asking eight countries to explain why they were restricting access of Mexican pork products to their markets in response to the swine flu outbreak here, EFE news agency reported.

“We won’t allow them to impose unjustified measures on Mexican exports and we will defend the place that the quality of our products deserves in markets around the world,” Economy Secretary Gerardo Ruiz Mateos said at a press conference.

Mexico’s WTO complaint targets Ecuador, Bolivia, Honduras, China, Ukraine, the United Arab Emirates, Russia and Azerbaijan.

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