State health officials are tracking contacts of a Union County teen who has swine flu, but no other cases of the new flu virus have been identified in north Mississippi.
As of Friday, Mississippi had 26 confirmed cases of swine flu. All but two of the cases are clustered around the Gulf Coast and Hattiesburg, said State Epidemiologist Dr. Mary Currier. One case has been reported in the Meridian area.
The Union County male teen, whose case was publicly confirmed Thursday, was traveling outside of Mississppi but inside the United States when he was exposed to the new flu bug, Currier said.
He is recovering at home.
The teen was not in any Northeast Mississippi classrooms during the time he would have been contagious, Currier said.
Currier said she wouldn’t be surprised to see swine flu cases continue to pop up over the summer, but it’s impossible to predict flu viruses.
“We know flu occurs in summer,” Currier said, but for some reason – perhaps because people spend less time indoors – it doesn’t spread as easily.
Even though swine flu is getting all the attention because its new, seasonal flu is still the predominant bug on the block. The state health department has found more than 60 cases of influenza A and B during its surveillance for swine flu, Currier said.
There are almost 9,000 confirmed cases of swine flu in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control, which updated figures on Friday.
“It looks like its slowing down some nationally,” Currier said.
Contact Michaela Gibson Morris at (662) 678-1599 or email@example.com.
Michaela Morris/NEMS Daily Journal