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Confirmed cases of A/H1N1 flu increase to 34 in Kansas
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13:54, May 16, 2009

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Four new cases of A/H1N1 flu were confirmed in the state of Kansas on Friday, raising the number of confirmed cases to 34 in the state, local health officials said.

The newly-confirmed cases involve a child and an adult from Saline County, two children from Geary County and Riley County, the State Department of Health and Environment said.

Nationwide, confirmed and probable cases stood at 4,714 Friday, said the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Most probable cases end up being confirmed.

"As more and more cases are being identified, the percentage of cases that had some sort of contact with Mexico is decreasing every day," said Dr. James Phillips, the state's epidemiologist.

Meanwhile, federal health officials are seeing a surprisingly high number of cases of ordinary, seasonal flu at a time the flu season typically peters out.

About 50 percent of patients were recently tested positive for the A/H1N1 flu virus while the rest had seasonal flu, which is still causing widespread or regional illness in two dozen states, Dr. Daniel Jernigan of the CDC said Friday.

"This is something that we would not expect at this time," he said, adding he was worried about a possible mixture of the seasonal flu virus and A/H1H1 flu virus in the near future.

"The A/H1N1 virus is not going away," Jernigan said. The virus "appears to be expanding throughout the United States" and poses "an ongoing public health threat," he said.

Although U.S. officials are still monitoring the situation in Mexico, where the outbreak began, the CDC's quarantine chief, Dr. Martin Cetron, said the agency was downgrading its warnings about travel to Mexico.

The CDC had urged people to avoid nonessential travel to that country, but that was changed on Friday to just a precaution for people at high risk of flu complications.

Source: Xinhua

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