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Obama says outbreak a cause for concern, not alarm

Latest update : 2009-04-27

In a speech addressing growing worldwide fears over the spread of swine flu, US President Barack Obama called for an "active, aggressive" response to the outbreak and emphasised that the illness was a "cause for concern", but not alarm.

AFP - US President Barack Obama on Monday urged Americans to remain calm in the face of a widening outbreak of swine flu, saying that the illness is a "cause for concern" but not alarm.

In remarks delivered at a gathering of the National Academy of Sciences, the US leader said that the ailment, which has killed more than 100 people in Mexico, "requires a heightened state of alert.  But it is not a cause for alarm."

He added that US health officials "are closely monitoring the emerging cases of swine flu in the United States," which has had 20 confirmed cases of the illness across five states, and prompted the federal government to declare a US health emergency.

But Obama said that the declaration was made out of an abundance of caution.

"The Department of Health and Human Services has declared a Public Health Emergency as a precautionary tool to ensure that we have the resources we need at our disposal to respond quickly and effectively," the president said.

"I'm getting regular updates on the situation from the responsible agencies, and the Department of Health and Human Services as well as the Centers for Disease Control will be offering regular updates to the American people so that they know what steps are being taken and what steps they may need to take," Obama said.

 

Date created : 2009-04-27