TUPELO – The first cases of swine flu in Lee County have been confirmed by the Mississippi State Department of Health.
The health department confirmed Friday that a young adult male and an adult male from Lee County had tested positive for the novel H1N1.
So far, 143 cases of swine flu have been reported in Mississippi. The largest clusters of cases are on the Gulf Coast, and in the Hattiesburg and Jackson metro areas.
In Northeast Mississippi, nine cases have been reported in Lee, Tishomingo, Monroe, Union and Chickasaw counties.
No deaths have been reported in Mississippi, although 127 deaths out of more than 27,000 confirmed cases have been attributed to the new flu virus nationally.
The swine flu, which spreads like any other flu virus, has been relatively mild so far, but any strain of flu virus can cause potentially serious complications, especially in people with existing health problems.
Mississippi residents should assume the virus is already circulating, or soon will be, in their county, said State Epidemiologist Dr. Mary Currier.
“It’s all over the state,” she said.
Frequent, thorough handwashing, and coughing and sneezing into your sleeve instead of your hand are currently the best methods of personal prevention.
People who become ill with flu-like illness – fever, muscle aches, cough – should stay home and call their health care provider.
Michaela Gibson Morris/NEMS Daily Journal