US President Barack Obama said Monday that the threat of spreading swine flu infections is a cause for concern but "not a cause for alarm" as the United States began border monitoring to contain the illness.
The US has declared a national health emergency in the midst of uncertainty about what the mounting sick count - 1,600 or more in Mexico alone - were ongoing infections or merely resulted from health officials missing something that had been simmering for weeks or months.
Obama said the declaration was made to make sure the US was prepared.
"The Department of Health and Human Services has declared a Public Health Emergency as a precautionary tool to ensure that we have the resources we need at our disposal to respond quickly and effectively," Obama told a gathering of scientists, amid increasing worries worldwide about a possible pandemic.
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