CDC Says Too Late to Contain U.S. Flu Outbreak
April 24, 2009
WASHINGTON, April 24 (Reuters) - The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Friday it was too late to contain the swine flu outbreak in the United States.
Photo: Nurse Natividad Alonso (C) gives instructions to people about flu in a Health Center in Mexico City April 24, 2009. A deadly strain of swine flu never seen before has broken out in Mexico, killing at least 16 people and raising fears it is spreading across North America. The World Health Organization said it was concerned about what it called 800 "influenza-like" cases in Mexico, and also about a confirmed outbreak of a new strain of swine flu in the United States. (Reuters / Henry Romero )
CDC acting director Dr. Richard Besser told reporters in a telephone briefing it was likely too late to try to contain the outbreak, by vaccinating, treating or isolating people.
"There are things that we see that suggest that containment is not very likely," he said.
He said the U.S. cases and Mexican cases are likely the same virus. "So far the genetic elements that we have looked at are the same." But Besser said it was unclear why the virus was causing so many deaths in deaths in Mexico and such mild disease in the United States.
(Reporting by Maggie Fox, editing by Patricia Zengerle)