Gulf Coast records first three cases of swine flu in state

JACKSON – Mississippi health officials announced the first three cases of swine flu in the state Friday.
Two young adults – a man and a woman – and a female infant tested positive for the H1N1 swine flu at a certified outside lab, State Health Officer Dr. Ed Thompson announced in a press conference.
All three have recovered.
The three people, who became sick between May 5 and May 9, are not related, and health officials have not found any signs they had contact with each other. None had any travel history to Mexico.
The swine flu cases in Mississippi are consistent with what other states have seen – a relatively mild flu similar to the seasonal flu. Mississippi has the benefit of being one of the last states to see swine flu cases.
“We now know more about this virus,” Thompson said. “We know it’s not the killer virus.”
Only Wyoming and Alaska have yet to identify cases of the new influenza virus. Mississippi’s new cases will be reflected in the CDC’s Saturday update.
In the increased surveillance for the swine flu virus, the state lab found 45 cases of the seasonal flu, which includes a different H1N1 virus.
“We’ve found a lot more seasonal flu,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Mary Currier.
Mississippians need to continue to take precautions.
“The most important thing people can do is wash their hands,” and practice good cough etiquette, Currier said.
People who are sick with fever or flu-like illness should stay home from work or school. Other people, including folks at risk for complications from the flu, just need to take common sense precautions, Thompson said.
Contact Micheala Gibson Morris at (662) 678-1599 or michaela.morris@djournal.com.

 

Michaela Morris/NEMS Daily Journal