Local News

Four students contract swine flu

Posted May 28, 2009
Updated May 29, 2009

— State public health officials notified the health departments in New Hanover County on Thursday that four elementary school-aged children in the two counties have contracted the swine flu.

Local officials immediately notified the parents of the children, and the county health department began working to determine who might have been exposed to the H1N1 virus before the children showed symptoms. People who have been in close contact with the children will be advised to go home to limit the spread of the illness.

Three of the students attend Gregory Elementary School of Science, Mathematics and Technology, while the fourth attends Snipes Academy of Art and Design. Officials said they aren't recommending any school closures.

The four new cases bring the total of confirmed swine flu cases in North Carolina to 20. Cases in Onslow and Brunswick counties were confirmed earlier this week.

Meanwhile, public health officials said Orange County's first confirmed case of swine flu appears to have been contained to a UNC Healthcare worker.

The unidentified person, who works at University Pediatrics in Durham, tested positive for the H1N1 virus last Friday, and was immediately isolated to contain the spread of the illness.

Ten co-workers received preventive treatment, and none has exhibited flu-like symptoms, said Dr. David Weber, an epidemiologist and associate director of the UNC School of Medicine. Seventeen patients who came in contact with the worker also were offered anti-viral medications, but not all took them, Weber said.

Some of the clinic patients have been tested for swine flu, but all tests have come back negative, Weber said.

The incubation period for H1N1 is typically one to four days, although it could appear as late as seven days after contact. Weber said officials believe that there won't be more related cases of swine flu in Orange County.

The employee also expects to return to work shortly after recovering from the virus, he said.

More than 7,900 cases of H1N1 have shown up in 48 states, and 11 people in the U.S. have died from the disease, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

At least 42 countries have confirmed cases of the disease, which has sickened more than 11,000 people and caused about 90 deaths, the World Health Organization reports.


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  • sixnitepkg May 28, 2009

    here are some facts regarding "swine flu"
    this strain of H1N1 - first found - ON A HOG FARM IN NEWTON GROVE N.C.!!! IN 1998!!!

    has YET to kill 800 people WORLD WIDE since found in humans in Mexico - SEASONAL flu kills 800 people PER WEEK during flu season IN THE U.S. ALONE!!

    Now think folks, how many people in Johnston and Sampson county have tested positive for flu since 1998, got Tamiflu, and got SENT HOME!! no further testing, no sample sent to the CDC - Ya' got the dang flu, no big deal!!!
    read this as - SWINE FLU IS A JOKE!!! about as serious to healthy americans as the common flippin' cold!!!!
    this will disappear as rapidly as "SARS" did when they found out that was nothing more than a strain of Legionairre's!!!
    WRAL should be ashamed for perpetrating the "swine flu" panic

  • djofraleigh May 28, 2009

    Since so few of the cases are being reported, why not report the sources of the cases?

    The alarming thing to me about this N1H1 is that it's spread is so fast. I heard of the flu in April, in Mexico, then a month later I was exposed I think by a family that came back from Mexico, immediately got sick. They declined treatment, so by NOT going to the hospital, the health people didn't test them, so they were not reported. The illness spread over the world in short order.

    I don't think the health people can handle this. We're just lucky that it is not deadly, not that it couldn't mutate quickly.

    I have NO faith in our warning system, or our system's timely reaction. If this was opportunity for a test, our system failed.

    As for our population, look at the joking responses on here, mocking the worldwide spread in denial of the potential. The USA is not geared up for a pandemic. We had better learn from this one.

    Faster recognition, isolation, treatment, vaccine...

  • rhoda_penmark May 28, 2009

    Uhhmmmmmm.....FACT CHECKERS - The CDC announced the name of this influenza virus a while back. Hint: It is NOT NAMED "Swine Flu". Why doesn't someone just "Google it" and make a correction, just for the sake of accuracy?

  • busyb97 May 28, 2009

    I was wondering how many people go the "seasonal flu", or a cold, or the trotz last week! Why don't we see THAT in the headline? I bet alot more people got sick with those things.

  • smegma May 28, 2009

    haha coolwill, one word for you... PANIC!!!!!!!!!!!

  • coolwill May 28, 2009

    the barn door is already open, that is why there have not been another word said by obama. just wait your turn.

  • OMG52 May 28, 2009

    thank you for that comment "time4real" I have been wondering the same thing. With so many dying EVERY year from the flu why don't they shut down schools, detain people in other coutries etc. like they have this time?

  • time4real May 28, 2009

    great, now we're only 29,994 away from, equaling as many deaths as the regular flu kills every year.