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.