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Authorities Probe Source of Flu Outbreak

President Obama urged calm in the face of the widening swine flu outbreak, as dozens of cases of swine flu were reported in the United States. Dr. Anne Schuchat of the Centers for Disease Control outlines the government's measures to treat the cases and investigate the cause of the outbreak.

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  • RAY SUAREZ:

    Now more about the health measures and questions surrounding this story, and that comes from Dr. Anne Schuchat. She's director of the CDC's National Center of Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.

    Dr. Schuchat, in just the past hour or so, the World Health Organization has raised the level of alarm on this flu outbreak from three to four. What does that mean?

    DR. ANNE SCHUCHAT, U.S. Centers for Disease Control: You know, technically what that means is that there is agreement among scientific experts that there's sustained human-to-human transmission of this virus, but it's really less important here in the United States, something that's more important for countries that haven't yet seen a case of this new swine flu virus.

    Here in the United States, we're already taking the types of aggressive actions that you would do when you're concerned about a new virus and its potential for spread.

  • RAY SUAREZ:

    What's the best information you have this evening on the number of confirmed cases in the United States?

  • DR. ANNE SCHUCHAT:

    We're saying that there are 40 laboratory-confirmed cases here in the United States. We're really not focusing that much on the numbers, and we're updating them once a day. They'll be on our Web site every day updated.

    What's really important to know is that there are cases in a number of states, that so far of the 40 cases we've had one has required hospitalization, and all have fully recovered.

    But we really need to keep our eyes out for a change in the spectrum of disease, perhaps more serious cases. I do expect there to be more cases and the spectrum of illness to change.

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