Read our COVID-19 research and news.

Dizzying Deluge of Swine Flu Numbers

The outbreak of swine flu in the United States and Mexico is—as is typical during the early stages of the spread of a new virus—leading to an outpouring of different data from different sources.

At a news conference today in Mexico City, Mexico’s secretary of health said they had confirmed 20 deaths caused by swine flu and had 40 other suspected cases. An Associated Press dispatch said the Mexican health department had identified 943 suspected cases. The World Health Organization reports today said there have been 62 suspected deaths and a total of suspected 882 cases. WHO further said Canadian labs had confirmed 18 cases as swine flu, 12 of which were “genetically identical” to ones in the United States. At a press conference today in Atlanta, the Acting Director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Richard Besser, made no mention of the Canadian tests but said CDC had confirmed 7 samples from Mexico as being the same as the U.S. swine flu virus in one region of its genome.

But, most crucially, the different players agree with the WHO assessment that the outbreak is “of high concern.”