$7.7B For H1N1 Included In House War-Spending Bill; India Says Developed Countries Can Do More To Prevent Spread

The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday narrowly passed a $106 billion war-funding bill, which “included 7.7 billion to help the nation prepare for an outbreak of the H1N1 virus, the so-called swine flu,” the Washington Times reports (Rowland, Washington Times, 6/17). The spending bill will now move to the Senate for consideration (Pelofsky, Reuters, 6/16).

The WHO on Monday reported 76 countries have officially confirmed 35, 928 cases of H1N1 infection, including 163 deaths. Country specific information is available here (WHO Influenza A(H1N1) – update 49, 6/15).

The U.S. and other developed countries should be doing more to contain and prevent the spread of the H1N1 virus into developing countries, such as ramping up the screening of people leaving “affected nations,” Indian health officials said Monday during an international forum, according to the Times of India reports.

“We have so far 30 cases [of H1N1 flu] which have been laboratory confirmed,” said Naresh Dayal, the health secretary of India. “Out of these, 28 are those who came from infected countries in the West.”

The “US is the main source (of infection) as far as India is concerned. In Mexico, when people leave the airport, they are properly monitored and screened. Similarly, Americans should also provide some kind of screening at the point of departure,” Dinesh Trivedi, minister of state for health, said. The article also examines other government efforts to convince “affected nations” to screen passengers traveling to India (Times of India, 6/17).

VOA News reports: “India is asking its own travelers, especially students planning to study in the U.S., to defer their departures for some months until the pandemic is brought under control” (Herman, VOA News, 6/16).

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