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Swine Flu Report: May 3, 2009 - May 9, 2009

Maryland Recruits "Flu-Watchers"

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley announced today that the state is setting up a broad-based flu surveillance system, which will include teams of citizen Internet "flu-watchers" who will report any flu-like symptoms they might experience. The system will also utilize the...

By Michael E. Ruane  |  May 8, 2009; 6:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Prevention  
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CDC Update: 1639 Confirmed Cases

The CDC reports it has documented 2500 "probable and confirmed" cases of swine flu in 42 states and the District of Columbia. Of those, 1639 are confirmed cases. Acting CDC chief Richard Besser said that as cases increased, the CDC...

By Shankar Vedantam  |  May 8, 2009; 5:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  New Cases  
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El Niño Could be Bad News for Flu

AccuWeather is reporting that the expected development of the weather condition known as El Niño this summer could mitigate against swine flu in the northern U.S. next winter. El Niño, a phenomenon where the Pacific Ocean gets warmer off the...

By Michael E. Ruane  |  May 8, 2009; 3:28 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Worst Case Scenario for the Fall

The virus that has caused the current swine flu -- H1N1 -- seems plenty capable of jumping from one host to another, but lacks lethality -- meaning that most infected people recover quickly. But the worst case scenario for the...

By Shankar Vedantam  |  May 8, 2009; 3:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Swine Flu in the Fall: Vaccinate or Not?

Although we are many months away right now from the fall influenza season, many experts say that is going to be the biggest challenge swine flu poses. We have been fortunate in that the outbreak in the northern hemisphere has...

By Shankar Vedantam  |  May 8, 2009; 3:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Another Suspected Flu Case in D.C. Student

The District's health department announced last night that another flu case is suspected in a localstudent. The student attends the Langdon Education Campus, in northeast Washington, and is recovering at home. The school was sanitized overnight and will not be...

By Michael E. Ruane  |  May 8, 2009; 10:28 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Was the Reaction Proportionate?

The post-mortem analysis of the media coverage of the swine flu outbreak has begun. This might be a little premature, given the outbreak has still not run its course, but it seems quite clear swine flu is not going to...

By Shankar Vedantam  |  May 8, 2009; 10:25 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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WHO Update -- 24 countries

The World Health Organization has tracked 2,384 cases of swine flu in 24 countries. WHO reports: "Mexico has reported 1,112 laboratory confirmed human cases of infection, including 42 deaths. The United States has reported 896 laboratory confirmed human cases, including...

By Shankar Vedantam  |  May 8, 2009; 9:38 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Md. Reports 21 Confirmed Cases of Swine Flu

State health officials say there are 21 confirmed cases of swine flu in Maryland. The number was reported on Thursday, and is up from the four cases that had been confirmed earlier this week. The Department of Health and...

By Mike McPhate  |  May 7, 2009; 4:22 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  New Cases  
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Obama Budget: Spending Increase to Fight Swine Flu

The Obama 2010 budget includes an increase of $584 million to fight swine flu, over and above the $1.5 billion in supplemental resources Obama has already allocated. Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, said in...

By Shankar Vedantam  |  May 7, 2009; 2:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Serendipitous Lessons

The swine flu outbreak has prompted some schools to learn they can keep teaching students -- using the Internet -- even when schools have to be closed in the event of a problem or a disaster. Read the entire story...

By Shankar Vedantam  |  May 7, 2009; 10:29 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Vaccines: Rich vs. Poor

Epidemics don't just highlight the complexities of medical science; they invariably highlight social disparities in a nation and across the world. In a very interesting piece, Washington Post medical reporter (and physician) David Brown reports that should a vaccine be...

By Shankar Vedantam  |  May 7, 2009; 10:25 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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CDC: Recommendations for Families Caring for Flu Patients

The CDC has issued a number of recommendations for families caring for a person with swine flu. Besides rest, the CDC says patients should "drink clear fluids (such as water, broth, sports drinks, electrolyte beverages for infants) to keep from...

By Shankar Vedantam  |  May 7, 2009; 10:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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CDC: Recommendations for Schools

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a number of recommendations for schools regarding the swine flu outbreak. Among other suggestions, it says: "Students, faculty and staff who appear to have an influenza-like illness at arrival or become ill...

By Shankar Vedantam  |  May 7, 2009; 10:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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WHO Update -- 23 countries

The World Health Organization reports it has documented 2099 cases of swine flu in 23 countries. The number of cases -- and countries -- continues to steadily rise, but WHO has not yet termed the outbreak a pandemic, which requires...

By Shankar Vedantam  |  May 7, 2009; 10:11 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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New District Swine Flu Cases

The District department of health reported Wednesday night that it had recorded its first confirmed case of swine flu, along with three new probable cases. The confirmed case involved a person recently discharged from an area hospital after being admitted...

By Michael E. Ruane  |  May 6, 2009; 11:19 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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New Flu Cases In Prince George's Schools

Prince George's County school officials report two more probable cases of swine flu: One student at Vansville Elementary School in Beltsville and the other at Montpelier Elementary School in Laurel. Both schools were previously closed but re-opened today. The two...

By Michael E. Ruane  |  May 6, 2009; 4:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Schools  
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Afghanistan's Lone Swine Locked Up

Afghanistan's only known pig has been taken off display at Kabul Zoo and locked away to avoid panic among visitors who may be worried about swine flu, the zoo's director said Wednesday, according to a news service report. "We put...

By Michael E. Ruane  |  May 6, 2009; 3:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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CDC: Swine Flu Cases Skew Young

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that the average age of the 35 people hospitalized with swine flu is a shockingly young 15. The government is also reporting that about 642 people in the United States are confirmed...

By Shankar Vedantam  |  May 6, 2009; 3:19 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Dr. Vigilance Urges Flu Vigilance

The District's department of health sent a letter to parents today, describing how adults and children should wash their hands, cough or sneeze into a sleeve and other tactics to avoid the passing any flu germs around. Be vigilant, the...

By Michael E. Ruane  |  May 6, 2009; 3:16 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Virginia Flu May Have Spread With Spring Break

The seven cases of swine flu that have been detected at Virginia's Washington and Lee University, in Lexington, may have stemmed from student travel during spring break, a Virginia health official said this afternoon. Dr. Jim Burns, an epidemiologist and...

By Michael E. Ruane  |  May 6, 2009; 2:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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11 Confirmed Swine Flu Cases in Va., Officials Say

Virginia health officials say there are 11 confirmed cases of swine flu in the state, including seven at Washington & Lee University. The Virginia Health Department said in a release Wednesday that none of the cases involved hospitalization and all...

By Mike McPhate  |  May 6, 2009; 1:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  New Cases  
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Two Flu Shots May Be Needed This Fall

The World Health Organization says that patients might need to get two flu shots later this year, one to protect against the regular flu and the other to protect against swine flu, Bloomberg reports. The move comes after the international...

By Shankar Vedantam  |  May 6, 2009; 12:42 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Prevention  
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Ain't No Time for the Summertime Flu

The Capital Weather Gang reports that the mean and steamy days of summer might be bad news for the flu virus. The virus seems to survive better in cold and dry conditions. Scientists believe the warmer weather may actually melt...

By Michael E. Ruane  |  May 6, 2009; 11:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Catholic School to Re-Open Monday

Our Lady of Victory elementary school, the northwest Washington parochial school closed yesterday by the swine flu outbtreak, will re-open Monday, a spokeswoman for the Archdiocese of Washington says. The school was closed after a teacher came down with a...

By Michael E. Ruane  |  May 6, 2009; 11:43 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Schools  
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Most Local Schools Re-Open

Most of the schools in the area that were closed because of the flu outbreak re-opened this morning. "We are open for education!" Rockville High School, which has been closed since last week, said on its Web site. "It’s been...

By Michael E. Ruane  |  May 6, 2009; 9:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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What Swine Flu Looks Like

Photos of the swine flu virus are available -- these are the nasty critters that have had the world in such a tizzy. (Viruses cannot grin, but if they could, these circles might look like smiley faces.) You can download...

By Shankar Vedantam  |  May 6, 2009; 8:34 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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CDC Overview of Swine Flu in U.S.

The Centers for Disease Control has issued an update on where swine flu cases have been detected in the United States. You can see the number of infections listed by state here....

By Shankar Vedantam  |  May 6, 2009; 8:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Update -- 22 Countries Report Cases

As of Wednesday morning, the World Health Organization is reporting 1,516 cases of swine flu in 22 countries. It continues to advocate standard preventive measures, and has not (yet) termed the outbreak a pandemic. WHO said: "Mexico has reported 822...

By Shankar Vedantam  |  May 6, 2009; 8:28 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
 
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Swine Flu -- The "Gold Standard" Studies

The Cochrane Review, which publishes some of the most highly regarded articles in medical science, has decided to open its archives and make all articles related to influenza freely available to the public. You can find the articles here. I...

By Shankar Vedantam  |  May 6, 2009; 6:22 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Swine Flu Claims Second Life in U.S.

Health officials have announced a second U.S. death related to the swine flu outbreak. Read the story here. The victim was a Texas woman with "underlying" health problems, authorities said....

By Shankar Vedantam  |  May 5, 2009; 4:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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District Catholic School Will Stay Closed This Week

Our Lady of Victory School, the Northwest Washington parochial school that was closed today over the flu outbreak, will remain closed for the rest of the week, a spokeswoman for the Archdiocese of Washington says. Susan Gibbs said the District...

By Michael E. Ruane  |  May 5, 2009; 4:33 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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All Closed Maryland Schools to Re-Open Wednesday

Maryland will reopen all schools Wednedsday that were closed by the swine flu outbreak, officials said. A press conference is scheduled for later today. The move comes as the federal government has backed off its recommendation that schools close if...

By Michael E. Ruane  |  May 5, 2009; 4:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Video of HHS Secretary on Schools

By Washington Post staff  |  May 5, 2009; 4:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Sorry, Wrong Flu Number

A few callers trying to tap into the Virginia Department of Health swine flu teleconference today instead reached: Graham Landin, 26, in the T-shirt store he manages in Montreal, Canada. Landin said he got several calls from people thinking they...

By Michael E. Ruane  |  May 5, 2009; 3:07 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Rockville High School to Reopen Wednesday

Montgomery County schools Superintendent Jerry D. Weast has announced that Rockville High School will reopen Wednesday after being closed due to a reported Swine Flu case. “I’m very pleased. This is a very coherent, good decision by CDC on the...

By Michael E. Ruane  |  May 5, 2009; 2:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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WHO Latest Numbers -- Swine Flu in 23 Countries

The WHO reports it has documented 1,490 cases of H1N1 Influenza A in 23 countries around the world. You can see a map of the outbreak here....

By Shankar Vedantam  |  May 5, 2009; 2:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Swine Flu -- Who Should Bear the Cost?

International public health efforts face many scientific challenges, but they also face the practical problem that national borders mean nothing to viruses -- but mean a lot to people. Mexico, for example, estimates the measures it has taken to control...

By Shankar Vedantam  |  May 5, 2009; 1:33 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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HHS Chief: Swine Flu a Baptism by Fire

ATLANTA--Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius marked her first week on the job with a whirlwind tour of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention today, racing to get up to speed on the flu outbreak that has now...

By Shankar Vedantam  |  May 5, 2009; 12:50 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Flu May Stem From Karate Program

Three of the four probable cases of swine flu in Prince George's County appear to have originated at an afterschool karate program in Laurel, the county's health officer said this morning. Three students, two of them at Montpelier Elementary School...

By Michael E. Ruane  |  May 5, 2009; 12:48 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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CDC's Acting Chief

ATLANTA -- Kathleen Sebelius says she’s got a new best friend and he’s a handsome pediatrician with a thing for mystery viruses. Richard Besser, acting director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “has become one of my new...

By Shankar Vedantam  |  May 5, 2009; 10:27 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Swine Flu and Mexico: Theories

The Washington Post explores why Mexico has been particularly hard hit by swine flu. Among the theories -- many Mexicans were slow to seek medical help at hospitals, Mexico City's altitude aids the virus, and Mexico may have been hit...

By Shankar Vedantam  |  May 5, 2009; 10:11 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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WHO Update -- 21 Countries

The World Health Organization says that as of Tuesday morning, 1,124 cases of swine flu have been detected in 21 countries. WHO says: "Mexico has reported 590 laboratory confirmed human cases of infection, including 25 deaths. The United States has...

By Shankar Vedantam  |  May 5, 2009; 10:07 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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D.C. Catholic School Closes for Swine Flu

Our Lady of VIctory School in Northwest Washington has joined the ranks of local schools closed because of the swine flu outbreak, D.C. officials announced early this morning.

By Washington Post Editor  |  May 5, 2009; 5:28 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  New Cases , Schools  
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Policy for Closing Schools Draws Criticism

Resistance emerged in the Washington area today to the policy of closing schools to prevent the possible spread of swine flu, as Montgomery County school superintendent Jerry Weast complained that the ongoing shutdown of Rockville High School was not justified....

By Chris Stanford  |  May 4, 2009; 8:45 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Opinions , Prevention , Schools  
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Maryland Has New 'Suspicious' Flu Cases

Maryland health officials say they have five so called "suspicious" cases that may be swine flu. Suspicious cases are a step below the "probable" cases the state has logged so far in the outbreak. The officials declined to provide further...

By Michael E. Ruane  |  May 4, 2009; 4:03 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Swine Flu -- Experts or Crowdsourcing?

Google has drawn a lot of attention for presenting a map of the swine flu outbreak. (It has received more than 1.2 million hits.) Some reports suggest this map has been more popular than maps presented by the Centers for...

By Shankar Vedantam  |  May 4, 2009; 2:54 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  New Cases , Opinions , Rumors  
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Antiviral Drugs -- Resources and Links

If you or someone you know is taking antiviral drugs, the Centers for Disease Control has offered guidance on potential side effects and adverse reactions. Guidelines for professionals on the appropriate administration of antiviral drugs can be found here. For...

By Shankar Vedantam  |  May 4, 2009; 2:48 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Prevention  
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New Flu Case in the District

A third student at George Washington University is believed to have contracted the swine flu, the District's department of health says. The student did not require hospitalization and no longer has any symptoms, department spokeswoman Dena Iverson says. Two other...

By Michael E. Ruane  |  May 4, 2009; 2:48 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  New Cases , Schools  
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Does Closing Schools Stop Swine Flu?

Officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said they are re-examining whether closing schools is an effective way to halt swine flu -- especially if students at a school are infected by someone in the larger community and...

By Shankar Vedantam  |  May 4, 2009; 2:28 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Prevention , Schools  
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Four Maryland Flu Cases Confirmed

Maryland officials are saying that four of the state's six suspected swine flu cases have been confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They include three cases in Baltimore County -- two adults and a student at Milford...

By Michael E. Ruane  |  May 4, 2009; 1:38 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  New Cases  
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Is It a Pandemic?

The World Health Organization appears to be toying with the notion of raising the alert level on the Swine Flu Outbreak to 6 -- at which point it will formally be known as a pandemic. Agence France Press reports that...

By Shankar Vedantam  |  May 4, 2009; 11:16 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  New Cases , Opinions  
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Should Joe Biden be VP of Las Vegas?

With tongue planted firmly in cheek, Las Vegas has found a creative way to capitalize on the swine flu outbreak. In full page newspaper ads running today, the state known for fun and games pokes a bit of fun at Vice...

By Shankar Vedantam  |  May 4, 2009; 11:10 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Rumors  
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Schools Deal With Flu Fallout

Howard University has announced that one of its students probably had the illness, bringing the local total to 22 probable and confirmed cases reported in the District, Maryland and Virginia. No local deaths or hospitalizations have been reported. Howard said...

By Michael E. Ruane  |  May 4, 2009; 9:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Schools  
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Global Map of Swine Flu Outbreak

The World Health Organization has produced a global map of the swine flu outbreak, with the areas in bright red showing the highest concentration of cases. You can also find a more detailed map here....

By Shankar Vedantam  |  May 4, 2009; 9:17 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Q & A  
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WHO Update -- 20 countries

The World Health Organization said that as of today, it has documented 985 cases of H1N1 Influenza A -- aka swine flu -- in 20 countries. Of these, Mexico alone has more than half of all the cases, with 590...

By Shankar Vedantam  |  May 4, 2009; 9:09 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  New Cases , Q & A  
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Rockville High AP Test Site Moved

Rockville High School has moved its Advanced Placement tests, scheduled for Monday, to the Mark Twain School, the school has announced. Rockville High has been closed until further notice because of the flu outbreak. A student is believed to...

By Michael E. Ruane  |  May 3, 2009; 2:58 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Schools  
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