all of Mexico is at a standstill in an attempt to contain the spread of the H1N1
swine flu virus that has killed a number of people and sickened hundreds in the
Schools, businesses and non-essential offices will be closed
for five days, with President Felipe Calderon urging people to stay home during
the Cinco de Mayo holiday. Many schools have been closed in the United States as
12 confirmed deaths so far
Thursday said it has confirmed 12 deaths, although the suspected death toll is
higher. Health Minister Jose Angel Cordova says the number of people who have
sought treatment for flu-like symptoms has declined, suggesting the outbreak
could be leveling off.
The virus is quickly spreading in other parts of
The World Health Organization says 11 countries have confirmed
331 cases of the illness, including 109 cases in the United States. In addition,
both Denmark and Hong Kong confirmed their first cases Friday.
reports 1 flu fatality
The U.S. has confirmed one death from the
virus - the only confirmed fatality outside of Mexico, the epicenter of the
The United States is planning to purchase an additional 13
million courses of flu medicine to add to the national stockpile of treatments
for the virus.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius
said Thursday that 400,000 of those treatments will be sent to Mexico. The U.S.
already has more than 70 million courses of antiviral drugs stockpiled across
No plans to close border
The U.S. is not
closing its border with Mexico, but is advising its citizens to avoid
non-essential travel to Mexico. It also is advising citizens to stay home if
they are feeling ill or experiencing flu-like symptoms.
The flu has not
reached pandemic proportions, but the WHO is asking all countries to combat the
spreading virus with "increased urgency."
WHO says the virus also has
been confirmed in Austria, Britain, Canada, Germany, Israel, Spain, New Zealand,
Netherlands and Switzerland. Suspected cases are being investigated in
countries including Australia, Colombia, France, Japan and South
Some information for this report was provided by
AFP and AP.