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WHO Update: 13 countries

The World Health Organization reports that it has documented 365 cases of swine flu in 13 countries as of Friday evening. Here are excerpts from the WHO update:

"The United States Government has reported 141 laboratory confirmed human cases, including one death. Mexico has reported 156 confirmed human cases of infection, including nine deaths. The following countries have reported laboratory confirmed cases with no deaths -- Austria (1), Canada (34), China, Hong Kong, Special Administrative Region (1), Denmark (1), Germany (4), Israel (2), Netherlands (1), New Zealand (4), Spain (13), Switzerland (1) and the United Kingdom (8)."

It looks like we might slowly be getting a handle on the "denominator problem" -- the number of people who have been infected overall relative to those who came to light because they had severe infections. Early indications suggest that large numbers of people may have had mild infections. Officials in Mexico also reported that many family members of those who fell ill did not fall sick themselves, and U.S. health officials said there were some preliminary signs the new virus was not unlike the regular flu. President Obama vowed to keep a tight grip on the situation, and said health officials would closely monitor the virus -- both in this outbreak and any recurrence in the fall.

By Shankar Vedantam  |  May 1, 2009; 5:47 PM ET
Categories:  New Cases  
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