California declares swine flu emergency

April 28, 2009

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on Tuesday declared a state of emergency to tackle the swine flu outbreak but stressed there was "no need for alarm."

Schwarzenegger said the declaration would allow California to limit the swine flu's spread in the region, where state figures indicate that 11 people have been infected.

"As part of the state's aggressive approach to addressing the , Governor today proclaimed a state of emergency that will support and facilitate our state health departments' response to this outbreak," a statement from Schwarzenegger's office said.

"While there is no need for alarm, it is the governor's top priority to limit the swine flu's spread as quickly and effectively as possible, and this action represents one more step being taken to strengthen California's response capabilities."

Gil Chavez, deputy director of California's Center for Infectious Diseases, said on Monday that 11 infections had been recorded across the state as he confirmed four new cases.

Three of the new California cases involved people in San Diego and Imperial County on the Mexican border.

The other new case involved a student at a school in Sacramento in northern . St Mel's Catholic School was shut after a student was taken ill with flu-like symptoms, Sacramento health officials said.

Health officials said the student had not traveled to Mexico but another pupil had been in the country during the Easter break.

(c) 2009 AFP

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