California Department of Public Health confirms a seventh case of swine flu in the state — and it’s the third in Imperial County.
A 35 year old woman was hospitalized April 4, she recovered and was later released.
At least two cases of the human swine influenza were also confirmed in Kansas Saturday, bringing the U.S. total to 12.
At least eight more are suspected in students at a New York City high school, but health officials say they don’t know whether they have the same virus that has killed scores of people in Mexico.
A strain of the flu has killed as many as 68 people and sickened more than 1,000 across Mexico. The World Health Organization chief says the strain has “pandemic potential” and it may be too late to contain a sudden outbreak.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta says besides the two confirmed cases in Kansas, there are nine in California and Texas.
To date, four cases of swine flu have been reported in San Diego County.
- A 7-year-old male (Friday)
- A 54-year-old male and his 16-year-old daughter (Thursday)
- A 10-year-old male (Tuesday)
All have recovered. Officials say none were exposed to pigs, which is the typical way swine flu is transmitted.
“We have heightened our surveillance and put area healthcare providers on alert. This will most likely generate additional cases of human infection with swine influenza,” Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County Public Health Officer said Saturday.
The public is being advised to follow typical precautions, as they should during a regular flu season.
“If you are sick, do not go to work, school or travel. Cover your mouth when coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose, and wash your hands frequently,” Wooten said cialis online india web.
In Mexico, authorities have closed schools, museums, libraries and theaters in the capital to try to contain an outbreak that has spurred concerns of a global flu epidemic.
A hot line fielded 2,366 calls in its first hours from frightened city residents who suspected they might have the disease. Soldiers and health workers handed out masks at subway stops, and hospitals dealt with crowds of people seeking help.
This virus is a mix of human, pig and bird strains that prompted WHO to meet Saturday to consider declaring an international public health emergency — a step that could lead to travel advisories, trade restrictions and border closures. Spokesman Gregory Hartl said a decision would not be made Saturday.
The CDC and Canadian health officials were studying samples sent from Mexico, and airports around the world were screening passengers from Mexico for symptoms of the new flu strain, saying they may quarantine passengers.
But CDC officials dismissed the idea of trying that in the United States, and some experts said it’s too late to try to contain spread of the virus.
They noted there had been no direct contact between the cases in the San Diego and San Antonio areas, suggesting the virus had already spread from one geographic area through other undiagnosed people.
Testing indicates some mainstream antiviral medications seem to work against the virus. The CDC is checking people who have been in contact with the confirmed cases, who all became ill between late March and mid-April.
Health experts say the last recorded death from swine flu in the U.S. was in 1976 and what is significant to the cases here is not the severity, but the strain.
“This is the very first time that it has been detected,” Wooten, M.D., M.P.H said. And with all the attention, she says it’s unlikely this is the last of it. “We definitely expect to find more because we’re asking doctors to test.”
Doctors say symptoms of this flu include fever, sore throat, coughing and nausea.
The CDC says two flu drugs, Tamiflu and Relenza, seem effective against the new strain. Roche, the maker of Tamiflu, said the company is prepared to immediately deploy a stockpile of the drug if requested. Both drugs must be taken early, within a few days of the onset of symptoms, to be most effective.
Get more information about swine flu on the San Diego County “Swine Flu and You” Web page.