NEWS

Public Health Emergency Declared

Sherry Harowitz

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared a public health emergency Sunday, April 26, 2009, after finding confirmed cases of Swine Influenza A (swH1N1) in California, Texas, Kansas, and New York.

"The formal declaration of a Public Health Emergency (PHE) is a tool that facilitates HHS’ preparation and mobilization for disasters and emergencies," explains the HHS release.

The release goes on to say that "To date, there have been 20 confirmed cases of swine Influenza A (swH1N1) in California, Texas, Kansas, New York, and Ohio.  No deaths in the U.S. have been reported due to the illness. Additional cases of the virus have been confirmed in Mexico and Canada."

It also notes that the FDA, the National Institutes of Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are working  together to develop a vaccine precursor that could be used to develop a vaccine for this swine flu virus.

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