The number of swine flu cases across the United States has
risen to at least 65, as governments around the world intensify steps to battle
the outbreak that has killed scores of people in Mexico.
The White House Tuesday said President Barack Obama has asked Congress to
provide $1.5 billion to fight swine flu, while the state of California, which
borders Mexico, declared a state of emergency to address the outbreak. The
Los Angeles Times newspapersaid officials are investigating two
deaths in the state that may have been linked to the virus.
Although Mexico is the epicenter of the outbreak, Homeland Security Secretary
Janet Napolitano says the U.S. focus is not on closing the border or conducting
exit screening. She said the focus is on mitigation, and that a special task
force is being created to deal with the outbreak.
Mexico is the only country to report any fatalities from swine flu, with more
than 150 suspected deaths. But human cases of the virus also have been
confirmed in the United States, Britain, Canada, Costa Rica, Israel, Spain and
New Zealand. Other countries, including Australia, France, Denmark and South
Korea, are investigating possible cases.