Since this spring, more than 94,000 people worldwide have fallen ill from swine flu and 429 have died from the virus, according to the latest numbers released this week from the World Health Organization. By comparison, about 250,000 people worldwide die from the seasonal flu every year.
Swine flu was declared a pandemic June 11, reflecting the continued spread of the virus around the globe as opposed to its severity.
But Sebelius said despite concerns, the outbreak "also brought a valuable opportunity: The attention being paid to the H1N1 virus is accelerating our work to improve the entire public health system."
Sebelius said it's everyone's responsibility to get the word out to curb the spread of swine flu. Today she invited people today to submit their own 60-second swine flu public service announcements, dubbing the effort the "YouTube challenge." The winner's PSA will be aired nationwide.
With teenagers especially at risk for this flu strain, the Health and Human Services Department is also turning to social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook to communicate.
"It's a responsibility that we all share as parents, neighbors, co-workers and community members," she said.
"We want to start reengaging the American public and our state and local and health and private business partners in making sure we use these summer months well to prepare for what could be a serious outbreak," Sebelius said. "If it doesn't happen, we'll be fortunate and this planning won't go to waste."
Youth have been hard hit in the swine flu outbreak, making school district preparation key in prevention efforts.
At the height of the outbreak one day in May, 726 schools were closed in the United States, Education Secretary Arne Duncan said today.
Should that happen again in the fall, Duncan said today, "Whether it's for a day or week or month, again it's critically important for me that learning continues."
Meantime, a total of $1 billion has been appropriated to buy bulk ingredients to produce a vaccine.
Health officials are also keeping an eye on reports of resistance to the antiviral Tamiflu, a drug used to prevent and treat influenza
Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told ABC News today that there are three "isolated cases" around the world of resistance to Tamiflu.
"These three individual cases are not worrisome in themselves," infectious disease specialist Christopher Ohl said today. "It doesn't look like the virus spread to another person, so it seems to be contained."
Still, Ohl said, "The problem is that Tamiflu's been the main drug that all across the world we've been stockpiling for use in the pandemic. If it becomes resistant and that drug is not available, then we'll have to turn to an alternative."
"We're anxiously anticipating actually the arrival of the vaccine," Ohl added. "In order to make a real impact on the number of cases that we have and to try to prevent more severe cases of H1N1 pandemic influenza, the real only way to do it is to have a good vaccine for it."
ABC News' Dan Childs contributed to this report.