[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/HEALTH/05/01/swine.flu.outbreak/art.sun.flu.jpg caption="Tourists sunbathe wearing surgical masks in the popular Mexican resort of Acapulco."]
The numbers keep rising. The World Health Organization says that the number of confirmed cases of swine flu worldwide is 367 and counting. That includes 141 in the United States and 156 in Mexico.
Meanwhile, new steps are being taken to tackle the virus, which is also known as H1N1.
Here are some of them:
– Spend $251 million to buy 13 million courses of antiviral medications to replenish the U.S. Strategic National Stockpile
– Shipping 400,000 antiviral regimens to Mexico, where the flu has taken the most lives
– Posting the genetic sequence for the virus on the internet so researchers around the world can study it. See it HERE.
After reviewing the data, scientists believe this strain is not as dangerous as the 1918 flu that killed millions. And, there's more encouraging news.
"We have no doubt that making a successful vaccine is possible within a relatively short period of time," said Dr. Marie-Paule Kieny, Director of the Initiative for Vaccine Research at the World Health Organization.
But as for the severity of the virus, it is too early to tell.
"You might think about a baseball player, trying to estimate a baseball player's batting average one week into the season. I think that's about what we're trying to cope with here in the U.S.," said Dr. Anne Schuchat, Interim Deputy Director for the CDC's Science and Public Health Program.
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