In brief: Swine flu’s toll among kids at 76
Atlanta – Health officials said Friday that 76 U.S. children have died of swine flu, including 19 new reports in the past week – more evidence the new virus is unusually dangerous for the young.
The regular flu kills between 46 and 88 children a year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That suggests deaths from the new H1N1 virus could dramatically outpace children’s deaths from seasonal flu, if swine flu continues to spread as it has.
CDC officials said 10 more states, a total of 37, now have widespread swine flu. A week ago, reports suggested that cases might be leveling off and even falling in some areas of the country, but that did not turn out to be an enduring national trend.
Fort chief named to train Afghans
Fort Leavenworth, Kan. – President Barack Obama has nominated the commander of Fort Leavenworth to lead U.S. and NATO efforts to train Afghan forces.
Lt. Gen. William B. Caldwell IV would join the war’s top U.S. commander, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, if confirmed by the Senate this fall. McChrystal is pushing for more help in developing Afghanistan’s fledgling military.
Caldwell has led the Kansas post since July 2007, and guided development of the U.S. Army’s plans for training foreign security forces. His new position would focus on training local army and police forces in Afghanistan to fight the Taliban, al-Qaida and other terrorists.