Flu fears are growing as the swine flu outbreak spreads.
More cases were reported worldwide today, including in the United States, where at least seven people have been hospitalized. Nationwide, at least 64 cases have been confirmed in five states. While there have been no deaths so far in the U.S., health officials today warned that will change.
"I fully expect we will see deaths from this infection," said Richard Besser, acting director of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said the same.
As the outbreak spreads, the search for its source has intensified. Did it originate it Mexico? That’s still not clear. Tonight, 360 M.D. Sanjay Gupta visits a village where the first known case in Mexico is believed to have occurred. Is the young boy who fell ill weeks ago the Holy Grail in this health crisis - Patient Zero?
Experts say the illness likely emerged in a pig infected with avian and human flu strains, then jumped to humans. According to this theory, somewhere a person picked up the virus from an infected live pig, became ill, and then passed the flu on to other people. Tonight we’ll show you how a simple sneeze can set off an epidemic. Randi Kaye teamed up with a medical expert and braved New York’s subway. Yep, there’s a big ick factor in her report – but it’s one you need to watch for your own health.
While Congress held an emergency meeting on swine flu today, President Obama asked for $1.5 billion to help fight the outbreak. Meantime, Gov. Schwarzenegger declared a state of emergency in California to free up more resources to stop the virus’s spread.
The fight could be a tough one. In the annals of flu viruses, this one is a newbie – a previously unseen blend of bird, human and pig viruses. And that’s what has many health experts worried. Brand new viruses can be especially deadly because their victims haven’t developed immunities to them.
We’ll spend a lot of time on this fast-moving story tonight. Dr. Gupta and Dr. Carlos Del Rio will be taking your questions. Send them our way at AC360.com.
See you at 10 p.m. eastern...
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