Swine Flu spreads

WASHINGTON (AP) - Governments are racing to avoid a swine flu pandemic as a deadly outbreak spreads through Mexico. There are nearly 90 suspected deaths in Mexico and likely 1,400 cases of the virus.

Churches, markets and restaurants closed down and few people ventured onto the streets.

The U.S. and Canada have also reported cases. Countries across Asia are promising to quarantine feverish travelers returning from flu-affected areas.

With 20 confirmed cases, the U.S. has declared a health emergency so it can ship some 12 million doses of flu-fighting medications.

In Alabama, State Health Officer Donald Williamson says there have not been any cases of swine flu reported, but it is likely only a matter of time. Williamson said Sunday it is "almost certain" Alabama will have cases now that the virus is spreading around the country.

Alabama Homeland Security director Jim Walker said border agents at Mobile's port will screen people returning from cruises to Mexico, where the flu strain has killed up to 86 people and likely sickened about 1,400.

Williamson said Alabama has more than 500,000 courses of anti-viral medication available in case of an outbreak.

Health officials urge people to practice good hygiene by washing their hands and staying home if they are sick.

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