CDC: US swine flu cases jump to 91 in 10 states - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather

UPDATE>> WHO raises alert level

CDC: US swine flu cases jump to 91 in 10 states

WASHINGTON. - The U.S. now has 91 confirmed cases of the new swine flu in 10 states.

Dr. Richard Besser, the acting chief of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, says thus far only five of those cases needed hospitalization, including a Mexican toddler who became the first death recorded in the U.S., in Texas.

The increase is not surprising. For days, CDC officials have said they expected to confirm more cases and more severe illnesses as they intensively hunt down this new virus.

Until now the government had known of outbreaks in just five states, but the new information shows cases in five more: Massachusetts, Michigan, Arizona, Nevada and Indiana.

WHO says swine flu moving toward pandemic level

The World Health Organization has raised its alert level for the swine flu, signaling a global pandemic could be imminent. The number of swine flu cases in the U.S. is approaching 100 and President Barack Obama says wider school closings may be needed to control the outbreak. 

Phase 6 is the highest in the scale and is for a full-scale pandemic. WHO flu chief Dr. Keiji Fukuda told reporters Wednesday there was no evidence the virus was slowing down.