Feds: Expect US Deaths From Swine Flu

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 28, 2009 6:49 PM CDT
Relatives of Juana Garcia react after acknowledging her death outside the National Institute of Respiratory Illnesses in Mexico City Tuesday.   (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)
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(Newser) – Swine flu continued its steady spread across the world, with federal officials warning to expect deaths in the US, the New York Times reports. The disease has been confirmed in seven countries and in five US states, but the only deaths—more than 150 so far—remain in Mexico. Five of the 68 confirmed US cases have required hospitalization. President Obama, meanwhile, has asked Congress for $1.5 billion in supplemental funding to fight the disease.

"It is very likely that we will see more serious presentations of illness and some deaths as we go through this flu cycle," said Homeland Security Chief Janet Napolitano, echoing the sentiments of a CDC official. New York City has 45 confirmed cases, but officials are investigating two new clusters, including "many hundreds of students" at a high school who have symptoms, the AP notes. “It is here and it is spreading,” said the city health chief.