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Swine Flu Fiasco

Swine Flu Epidemic: Most newspapers find a prominent spot on their front page for the swine flu outbreak as more and more cases are reported. USA TODAY, right, reports that the World Health Organization has "stepped closer to declaring the spread of swine flu a global epidemic, although officials caution that worldwide contagion is not a foregone conclusion.

"The Los Angeles Times writes that Mexico is trying to follow its "lethal march" from a 4-year-old boy who lived near a pig farms. "In an ominous disclosure, officials said the first confirmed fatality of the disease, a 39-year-old woman from an impoverished state neighboring Veracruz, worked as a door-to-door census-taker and may have had contact with scores of people," the newspaper reports.

The Dallas Morning News says Texas, which has already recorded swine flu cases, "began preparing for a larger outbreak" and has asked the Centers for Disease Control for more than twice the 840,000 doses of antiviral medication it already has on hand.

The BBC, meanwhile, reports that New cases of the deadly swine flu virus have been confirmed as far afield as New Zealand and Israel as the UN warns it cannot be contained.

The Wall Street Journal writes that a 1976 attempt to deal with a flu crisis in the Ford administration was "a swine flu fiasco" and "the legacy made some people skeptical even of regular flu vaccines for years afterward." "But," the paper says, "some public-health experts argue that overreaction is better than underreaction when lives are at stake."


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