As of today, April 29, 2009, cases of swine influenza have been confirmed in nine countries. The odd and frightening part of this fact, however, is how widespread these countries are. We have all read in the news about the several cases in Mexico and a few in the United States, but many people are unaware of how rapidly this disease is spreading in all continents. So far, the government has reported 91 confirmed cases of swine flu in America with one death of a 23-month old baby. In Mexico, where this disease is thought to have originated, 26 people have contracted the virus with seven reported deaths. Over the past few days, there have been reports of outbreaks all over Europe. Namely in the countries of Austria, Germany, Spain, and the U.K. Also, people have contracted this disease in New Zealand, Canada, and Israel. This disease has truly become a pandemic that has spread to six of Earth's seven continents, and is expected to continue spreading rapidly. The local outbreaks are already starting to have an effect on the American people. Many of my friends and classmates have cancelled plans to travel to Mexico this summer to celebrate graduation, and nearly 100 schools have closed in Texas in the last few days due to the fact that one or more students in a particular school district are believed to have contracted the swine flu. Other schools in several states have been closed for precautionary reasons. According to CNN, many of these schools are not expected to open again until May 11, 2009 and nearly 80,000 children of all ages are affected by these school closures. It will be interesting to see what happens with this disease in the near future, but in the meantime it looks frightening. This disease could be catastrophic if it continues to spread.