State of Emergency Declared in California
    2009-04-29 06:39:52     Xinhua      Web Editor: Xu Leiying
 
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a state of emergency on Tuesday to confront the swine flu outbreak.

As part of the state's aggressive approach to addressing the swine flu, the state of emergency "will support and facilitate our state health departments' response to this outbreak," Schwarzenegger said.

While there is no need for alarm, it is the state's top priority to limit the swine flu's spread as quickly and effectively as possible, the governor said.

"This action represents one more step being taken to strengthen California's response capabilities," he said.

The number of confirmed swine flu cases has risen to 11 in California as of Tuesday, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) said.

Five cases were documented in San Diego County, five in adjacent Imperial County and one in Sacramento. At least another six people in San Diego County are suspected of having contracted the disease, according to the CDPH.

Tuesday's proclamation followed the governor's rigorous response from the moment the first case of swine flu was confirmed in California, which included deploying public health experts across the state, increasing surveillance of patients with flu- like illness and activating the joint emergency operations center and health alert network.

In addition, state health officials are working closely with the federal government and local health partners to provide guidance on measures that can be helpful in reducing the virus' spread and associated impact on health.

Also on Tuesday, California became the first state in the nation to do its own confirmatory testing for this strain of swine flu without having to send samples to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which will greatly speed up detection efforts in California, Schwarzenegger said.
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