U.S. News

Twenty swine flu cases confirmed in U.S.

This negative-stained transmission electron micrograph (TEM) image depicts the ultrastructural details of a number of influenza virus particles, or “virions” in a 2001 image released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on April 24, 2009. REUTERS/Centers for Disease Control/Handout

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Twenty cases of swine flu have been confirmed in the United States as the White House stepped up efforts to monitor the outbreak, U.S. officials said on Sunday.

Dr. Richard Besser, acting director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said at a White House briefing that all of the U.S. cases have been mild. U.S. officials said President Barack Obama is being briefed regularly on the potential spread of the outbreak, which has taken as many as 81 lives in Mexico.

“At this point, a top priority is to ensure that communication is robust and that medical surveillance efforts are fully activated,” John Brennan, assistant to the president for Homeland Security, said. He said that would enable rapid identification and notification of any new cases that might occur in the United States and Mexico.