Governor Perry Issues Disaster Declaration, UIL Postpones Events

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - NewsWest9 is following some major developments in the fight against swine flu in Texas.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed 16 cases of swine flu in Texas, and Gov. Rick Perry has issued a disaster declaration for the entire state.

Perry's disaster declaration, which he announced Wednesday, will allow officials to begin emergency protective measures and seek reimbursement from the federal government.

Perry also said the CDC has approved his request for additional courses of antiviral medication. He says Texas has 850,000 more courses coming; the state already has 840,000.

In a statement, Perry said "Texans need to know there is no cause for panic."

The state health department and the CDC had confirmed six cases of swine flu before increasing the number to 16 Wednesday.

Texas officials are postponing all high school athletic competition until May 11 because of the swine flu outbreak.

The move suspends the baseball season and eliminates the regional track championships, said University Interscholastic League Executive Director Charles Breithaupt. He said UIL officials acted on the recommendation of public health officials.

The state golf and tennis championships are scheduled to begin May 11.  The state track meet, one of the largest high school track and field competitions in the country, remains scheduled for May 13-14. But it will require shuffling the schedule significantly.

All UIL academic competitions are postponed as well.

Midland ISD tells NewsWest9 they have been alerted to the UIL changes and will be sending out more information as it becomes available.

NewsWest9 is actively following all of these developments. Stay with NewsWest9 and for the latest.