overnments around the world tested patients for the new H1N1 swine flu virus on Wednesday, hoping not to find it and dreading its spread.
The World Health Organization doled out a steady toll of figures, saying the virus had officially been confirmed in Mexico, the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Britain, Israel and Spain.
But at the same time officials said the numbers were not a clear indicator of the threat posed by the virus, as it takes days to confirm the new strain and most countries began taking action the moment suspected cases turned up.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was working to distribute test kits for the virus, identified only last week in the United States. Without the kits, verifying infection can take days.
Mexico remained the only country with deaths — 159 by the government's estimate — and the epicenter of the outbreak.