sends word from the NYTimes that US government officials today declared a public health emergency
over increasing cases of the swine flu first seen in Mexico
. Here is additional coverage from CNN
. From the Times: "American health officials [say]... that they had confirmed 20 cases of the disease in the United States and expected to see more as investigators fan out to track down the path of the outbreak. Other governments around the world stepped up their response to the incipient outbreak, racing to contain the infection amid reports of potential new cases from New Zealand to Hong Kong to Spain, raising concerns about the potential for a global pandemic. The cases in US looked to be similar to the deadly strain of swine flu that has killed more than 80 people in Mexico and infected 1,300 more."
Reader "The man who walks in the woods" sends a link to accounts emailed to the BBC from readers in Mexico
. While these are anecdotal, they do paint a picture of a more serious situation than government announcements have indicated so far.