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As Flu Spreads Around The World, Obama Asks Congress For $1.5B To Fight It

I presume one of the things officials want to buy are more respirators, which will be very important if there's a pandemic: More evidence of the glob

I presume one of the things officials want to buy are more respirators, which will be very important if there's a pandemic:

More evidence of the global spread of a deadly flu emerged Tuesday, with new cases reported on four continents and a growing number of people in the U.S. requiring hospital treatment.

Health authorities said they have found possible cases of the new strain of A/H1N1 swine flu in the Middle East and Asia.

In the U.S., the number of confirmed cases rose to 66, including five people in California and Texas being treated at hospitals, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state health departments.

The new data indicated the strain was causing more severe illness in the U.S. than originally seen; only one of the first 40 confirmed cases had to be hospitalized. President Barack Obama on Tuesday asked Congress for $1.5 billion in additional funds to fight the epidemic, and lawmakers convened for a hearing to evaluate measures taken so far.

Many of the people confirmed with the swine flu outside Mexico were infected on trips to the country, officials said.

There also is evidence of transmission in the U.S.

Officials said 45 people got sick at St. Francis Preparatory School in the New York City borough of Queens after students returned from a trip to Mexico. The 45 ill include several students, staff and relatives who didn't go to Mexico but who may have caught the virus from those who did.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Tuesday that it was likely additional students had contracted the virus at St. Francis, a private Catholic school with 2,700 students. Hundreds of students, as well as staff, became sick with flu-like symptoms. The city decided against further testing to instead focus its investigation on new clusters of the virus.

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