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Despite an annual budget of more than $5 billion, Mexico's health secretary said Monday that his agency hasn't had the resources to visit the families of the dead. That means doctors haven't begun treatment for the population most exposed to swine flu, and most apt to spread it. It also means medical sleuths don't know how the victims were infected — key to understanding how the epidemic began and how it can be contained.
It remained unclear where and how the epidemic began, how it has spread, who it has killed or how fast it is growing. And the government has yet to take some basic steps critical to containing any outbreak, such as quick treatment of people who had contact with the victims. In the town of Xonacatlan, just west of Mexico City, Antonia Cortes Borbolla told The Associated Press that nobody has given her medicine in the week since her husband succumbed to raging fever and weakened lungs that a lab has confirmed as swine flu. No health workers have inspected her home, asked how her husband might have contracted the illness or tested the neighbors' pigs, she said.
WASHINGTON – Two million dead. Hospitals overwhelmed. Schools closed. Swaths of empty seats at baseball stadiums and houses of worship. An economic recovery snuffed out. We're nowhere close to what government planners say would be a worst-case scenario: a global flu pandemic. But government leaders at all levels, and major employers, have spent nearly four years planning for one in series of exercises.Their reports, reviewed by The Associated Press, and interviews with participants paint a grim picture of what could happen if the swine flu gets severely out of control. A full-scale pandemic — if it ever comes — could be expected to claim the lives of about 2 percent of those infected, about 2 million Americans.