Jim Tankersley
Los Angeles
April 26, 2009

Federal officials today declared a public health emergency involving human swine flu, warning Americans to prepare for widespread outbreaks now or in the future, yet urging them not to panic.

[efoods]In a briefing at the White House, the acting head of the Centers for Disease Control, Dr. Richard Besser, confirmed a 20th case of the flu, this one in Ohio. He said the government will likely find more cases — and cases that are more severe than the relatively mild ones seen in the United States so far — as it ramps up detection efforts.

Meanwhile, Nova Scotia’s chief public health officer said today that the east coast Canadian province has four confirmed cases of swine flu. And in Mexico, the country’s health minister said the disease had killed up to 86 people and likely sickened more than 1,400 since April 13.

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