UPDATE: Thompson meets with Miss. officials on swine flu

JACKSON — House Homeland Security Chairman Bennie Thompson says “at this point” Mississippi’s health and emergency leaders appear prepared to handle the swine flu.

Thompson and U.S. Department of Homeland Security Deputy Secretary Jane Holl Lute met Tuesday with health, education and emergency management officials to discuss challenges and other issues related to the H1N1 flu virus. The meeting was closed to the public.

Afterward, Lute said the state’s awareness of federal guidelines for handling flu outbreaks “was a real strength.”

Thompson says one concern was the cost of the vaccine, which he said would be free in most cases.

The Associated Press