Flu Threat Smaller Than Feared
Mexico cuts flu death toll; virus fails to spread in flu-hit US cities
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 2, 2009 6:19 AM CDT
Medics work wearing protective gear as a child is carried by her mother in the emergency area where people with swine flu-like symptoms are checked at the naval hospital in Mexico City, yesterday.   (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Officials in Mexico and the US remain cautious about the swine flu outbreak but say it appears to be less of a threat than first thought, the New York Times reports. In Mexico, less than half of suspected cases have turned out to be the H1N1 virus, very few relatives of victims have been infected and the estimated death toll has been cut to 101.

In New York City—which has 49 confirmed cases, the most in the US—the virus has failed to spread outside a few small pockets or cause any fatalities, leading Mayor Michael Bloomberg to label it "a relatively minor annoyance." President Obama said the government is continuing to take the flu outbreak very seriously as the virus could still mutate and return in a deadlier form later this year.