WASHINGTON — The first U.S. death from swine flu has been confirmed — a 23-month-old child in Texas — amid increasing global anxiety over a health menace that authorities around the world are struggling to contain.
The flu death was confirmed Wednesday by Dr. Richard Besser, acting director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In a cable news interview, he gave no other details about the child.
"As a pediatrician and a parent, my heart goes out to the family," he said about the tragic death.
But Besser said in a nationally broadcast network interview that it's too soon to say if the death in Texas suggests the virus is spreading to more states. Nor would he say whether officials think it will become a nationwide problem.
Besser said on NBC's "Today" show that he didn't believe "this indicates any change in the strain of the flu."
Besser also said that "we see with any flu virus a spectrum of disease symptoms" and said authorities need to learn more about the threat.
According to a U.S. government source, the child had recently traveled to Mexico, Reuters reported.
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