The swine flu outbreak in the U.S., which has now claimed the life of a toddler in Texas, has expanded to five more states and resulted in five hospitalizations, according to Richard Besser, acting director of the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. In a news conference with newly confirmed HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Besser participated via video and answered the majority of questions regarding the deadly strain of virus that has placed the U.S. in what he called a pre-pandemic period.
According to Besser, there were 91 confirmed cases in the U.S. as of this morning, and the CDC continues to offer updates of confirmed cases each morning.
The federal government has nearly 50 million treatment courses in the Strategic National Stockpile, Sebelius told reporters. The government has begun shipping anti-virals to states. These drugs are effective in treating patients who have acquired the H1N1 virus, she added.
In addition, the National Institutes of Health have started a pre-planned process to make a vaccine for the deadly virus. Expected to take months, that work includes research to determine safety and appropriate dosage requirements.