Swine Flu, 430 U.S. SCHOOLS CLOSED, 245,000 CHILDREN, 18 STATES

Developments on swine flu worldwide

By The Associated Press - Sunday AM, May 3 , Comments by Ben Boothe Sr.

Stop Spreading!

Key developments on swine flu outbreaks, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization, and government officials:

_Deaths: 19 confirmed in Mexico and one confirmed in U.S., a 21-month-old boy from Mexico who died in Texas.

_Confirmed sickened worldwide, 798: 454 in Mexico; 197 in U.S.; 85 in Canada; 20 in Spain; 15 in Britain; eight in Germany; four in New Zealand; two in Italy, France, Israel, and South Korea; one each in Costa Rica, Ireland, Switzerland, Austria, Hong Kong, Denmark and the Netherlands.

_U.S. confirmed cases: New York 50; Texas 28; California 24; Arizona 17; South Carolina 13; Delaware 10; Massachusetts eight; New Jersey seven; Maine six; Wisconsin three; Ohio three; Indiana three; Illinois three; Kansas two; Colorado two; Virginia two; Michigan two; Missouri two; Connecticut two; Florida two; New Hampshire one; Utah one; Rhode Island one; Iowa one; Kentucky one; Minnesota one; Nebraska one; Nevada one.

_ Spanish health officials say all but one of its 20 confirmed cases involved recent visitors to Mexico. Spain is the hardest-hit European Union nation.

_U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says about a third of the confirmed U.S. cases of swine flu are people who had been to Mexico and likely picked up the infection there.

_German authorities added two more confirmed cases Sunday for a total of eight. Italy reported its second confirmed case, a man who recently returned from Mexico and now reported to be recovering in home isolation.

_Hong Kong, where severe acute respiratory syndrome killed 299 in 2003, ordered a weeklong quarantine of a downtown hotel where a Mexican tourist was confirmed to have the illness, trapping 350 guests and employees inside. The tourist was in stable condition Sunday.

_Mexican Foreign Minister Patricia Espinosa complained that China had isolated several Mexicans without reason - and urged Mexicans not to travel to China until the situation was resolved.

_ Mexico has taken extraordinary measures against the epidemic, ordering all nonessential government and private businesses to shut down for five days.

_All 176 weekend soccer games in Mexico - from the first division to the lowly third - were shuttered to fans. The games went on behind closed doors.

_The U.S. government says schools with confirmed cases should close for at least 14 days because children can be contagious for seven to 10 days from when they get sick. More than 430 U.S. schools have closed, affecting about 245,000 children in 18 states.

_Chicago Public Schools officials say students who come to school with a cough and fever starting Monday will be sent home and required to stay there for at least seven days.In Iraq, three wild boars at Baghdad's zoo have been killed because of swine flu fears, a health official said Sunday. The animals were killed over the weekend though international experts have said there is no evidence the virus is spread by food. Iraq has no documented cases of swine flu.

_The U.S. Meat Export Federation, which represents pork and beef interests abroad, estimates that U.S. pork exports have dropped about 10 percent since the swine flu scare started.

On the Net: CDC: http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu

From Ben:

We appreciate the recent frank and honest comments by V.P. Joe Biden to "stay out of confined spaces, don't fly, stay out of rooms with large groups of people" as good advice. While restaurants, airlines, and theaters might hate the idea for business reasons, any way to avoid exposure to epidemics is logical advice.