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Sebelius takes lead role

From NBC's Domenico Montanaro
So far, we've seen Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano out front of the swine flu outbreak.

But this morning, newly minted Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius took a leading role with a news conference at the agency.

Sebelius, who was confirmed by the Senate last night 65-31, said it is an "honor" to take a leadership position at HHS, but credited the agency's continuing strategy that has been "underway for some time."

She introduced Dr. Richard E. Besser, acting director of the Centers for Disease Control, who broke news via a video that the number of confirmed cases of swine flu in the United States have jumped to 91 in 10 states -- double the number of states previously reported by the CDC.

"Again, these numbers are almost out of date by the time I say them," Besser said.

Sebelius said she met with officials last night at the White House after swearing to be briefed on the outbreak. And she warned that there will be more cases and likely more deaths.

Sebelius wanted to give a sense of reassurance, that she's fully briefed and that HHS is doing everything possible and "working closely" with state and local officials.

She assured that there are enough treatments of the medicines Tamiflu and Relenza and that the "government has begun shipping supplies to states with confirmed cases."

"I want to make it clear," the former Kansas governor said, "these drugs are effective in treating those who have contracted the H1N1 virus."

But she warned that the flu is always serious and people should take basic actions to prevent further spread or getting sick -- things like washing hands often, covering mouths and noses when coughing or sneezing and not going to work or school if you or your children exhibit flu-like symptoms.