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Kansas A/H1N1 flu cases Rise Rapidly to 46
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13:50, May 19, 2009

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The number of confirmed A/H1N1 flu cases in Kansas has reached 46, increasing 35 percent in the weekend, local health officials said on Monday.

Last Friday, the number of confirmed cases in the state was 34.The state Department of Health and Environment officials released 12 newly confirmed cases on Monday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 46 as of Monday.

So far, the number of confirmed cases have been reported in following counties: two in Dickinson, one in Ford, nine in Geary, 11 in Johnson, one in Ottawa, seven in Riley, three in Saline, one in Sedgwick and 11 in Wyandotte.

Nationwide, the number of confirmed cases of A/H1N1 flu has risen to 5,123 in 48 states, with at least five deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The low death rate might be a force behind the effort by a number of countries which urged the World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday to change its criteria for declaring a pandemic, saying the agency must consider how deadly a virus is -- not just how far it spreads across the globe.

Fearing an A/H1N1 flu pandemic declaration could spark mass panic and economic devastation, those counties asked the WHO to tread carefully before raising its alert. They cited the costly and potentially risky consequences, such as switching from seasonal to pandemic vaccine, even though the virus so far appears to be mild.

Although no formal changes were made on Monday, the WHO said it would listen to its members' requests.

"It's certainly something we will look at very closely," said Dr. Keiji Fukuda, WHO's flu chief.


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