US navy halts aid vessel over flu
The US navy is postponing an aid mission to the South Pacific after a sailor on the vessel scheduled to take the trip developed swine flu, BBC reported.
Nearly 50 others sailors on the California-based USS Dubuque also showed symptoms of the new H1N1 virus.
A US Navy spokesman said officials would be looking at other alternatives to meet the mission's objectives.
Earlier, a woman from Texas become the first US resident believed to have died from swine flu.
The woman - from Cameron County, close to the US border with Mexico - died earlier this week, the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) said.
But in a statement it added that she had been suffering "chronic underlying health conditions".
Lt Cmdr John Daniels said the navy was using "using prudent judgment" in cancelling the deployment of the USS Dubuque.
The amphibious transport vessel normally carries more than 400 crew and about 900 Marines.
It had been due to depart in early June for Samoa, the Solomon Islands, Tonga, Kiribati and the Marshall Islands as part of America's Pacific Partnership humanitarian programme.
Lt Daniels said the mission would still go ahead at some point but the USS Dubuque would no longer be part of it.
Navy Lt Sean Robertson said ill crew members had been treated with anti-viral medication and the remaining crew had been given prophylaxis.
The unnamed woman who died in Texas was in her 30s and had recently given birth, reported Associated Press news agency.
Leonel Lopez, Cameron County epidemiologist said the flu itself was "very benign" but had exacerbated her underlying medical problems.
The woman becomes the second confirmed person to have died from swine flu outside Mexico. A Mexican toddler died of the virus in the US in April.
There are 61 confirmed cases of H1N1 flu reported in Texas, said the DSHS.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said earlier that 1,490 swine flu cases had been verified in 21 countries.
After Mexico, the US has seen the greatest number of laboratory-confirmed infections, at 403.
US Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius acknowledged that the virus would continue to spread in the United States and elsewhere in the world, and more deaths would follow.
The WHO has urged nations to remain vigilant in spite of the apparently relatively mild nature of swine flu, saying a global pandemic remains a threat.
It points out that the number of infections has continued to grow worldwide.