President Barack Obama said Wednesday the outbreak of swine flu had created a "serious situation" in the United States requiring the "utmost precautions," after the first US death, a little toddler in Texas.
"This is obviously a serious situation, serious enough to take the utmost precautions," the president said, urging schools with suspected cases to close.
The president called on local officials to be vigilant in tracking suspected cases and warned that "more extensive steps" may be required.
"Every American should know that the federal government is prepared to do whatever is necessary to control the impact of this virus," he said.
US health authorities on Tuesday said there were 65 confirmed cases of the flu which is believed to have killed 159 people in Mexico.
Most of the US cases have been relatively mild, with only a handful of sufferers requiring hospitalization, but one child has died in Texas.
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