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Wake County reports first swine flu case

Posted June 1, 2009

— Wake County has its first confirmed case of swine flu, the county health director told county commissioners Monday.

First case of H1N1 virus found in Wake First case of H1N1 virus found in Wake

Dr. Elizabeth Tilson, interim community health director, told commissioners that a 42-year-old woman began displaying flu-like symptoms last week and was tested for swine flu, also known as the H1N1 virus. The test was done by a private lab, but samples also were sent to the state public health lab for confirmation, she said.

The woman hasn't been traveling recently, Tilson said, so officials haven't determined how she contracted the illness in North Carolina. She has been isolated and is being treated with anti-viral medication, and officials have notified and are monitoring people with whom she has been in recent contact.

Two of those people have displayed some flu-like symptoms, but they haven't tested positive for H1N1, Tilson said.

"We know that (swine flu) is in North Carolina, and I don't think that this (case) is that alarming," she said.

The case is the 22nd case of the H1N1 virus statewide, with eight coming in the last week.

On Thursday, four elementary school-aged children in New Hanover Counties contracted swine flu. Individual cases were reported in Orange, Onslow and Brunswick counties.

More than 10,000 cases of H1N1 have shown up nationwide, and 17 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.

Swine flu symptoms and precautions

State Health Director Dr. Jeff Engel recommends good hand hygiene – washing in soap, covering coughs and sneezes – and staying at home to prevent the spread of germs to others. Using hand sanitizer is a good alternative if you can't wash, he said, but "nothing beats soap and water for 10 to 15 seconds."

"To ward off any potential, just be prudent as you would during normal flu season," he said. "Just monitor your symptoms. If you get a flu-like illness, stay at home, stay away from school and work, and seek health care, if you have serious complications with the flu."

Serious complications include difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, severe nausea, vomiting, abdominal pains and chest pains, he said.

"This flu doesn't seem to be any more severe than regular seasonal flu. If anything, it is probably less severe," Tilson said.

If you think you have the H1N1 virus stay at home, except to visit a doctor. Avoid close contact with others for seven days after symptoms begin, or until you have been symptom free for 24 hours, whichever is longer.


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  • sixnitepkg Jun 2, 2009

    CDC guidelines indicate testing ONLY for those who have travelled to an area with known 2009 A/H1N1 cases - funny, but shouldn't EVERY person who is positive for the flu be tested now, since it's virtually EVERYWHERE?? never mind that the first cases of "combined avian, human, ovine" H1N1 were reported in hogs at a Newton Grove hog farm back in 1998!! how many thousands of patients have been seen at area ER's and NOT BEEN TESTED!!! this is a tempest in a teacup - it's been around, but only got "discovered" in human's because of a high number of deaths in mexico (never mind that there has YET to be a death without known comorbid diseases outside of mexico) this strain of the flu is actually LESS SERIOUS than the typical "seasonal flu"!! again, WRAL should be ASHAMED for continuing to report this as if it were actually something to be worried about!!

  • noreplytome2 Jun 1, 2009

    P A N I C !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    WRAL, it's well past time to cease fear-mongering of this over-exploited strain of the flu virus.

  • Thornedwolf Jun 1, 2009

    WRAL please stop these stories of the H1N1 virus it feels like a bad joke to me and I am sure that im not the only one who feels that way. All these stories do is give hypochondriacs panic attacks. Every one wash your hands thats all that needs to be stated

  • SaltlifeLady Jun 1, 2009

    Everybody just needs to wash their hands-well- and if you are sick stay home! If your kids are sick, keep them home! This is good practice to prevent the spread of anything, not just H1N1!

  • djofraleigh Jun 1, 2009

    Why are they making a fuss of this? There have surely been other cases in Wake County. There was a family here who all had the flu, & a couple of them had just gotten back from Mexico on the 23rd. On the 27th I was exposed to it not any of us knowing the illness. Many were exposed. The school's nurse inquired and since none of the family went to the hospital the nurse let it go, saying no one is tested until they go to the hospital.

    I was amazed that I first heard of the N1H1 on April 23rd being in Mexico, then was most lightly exposed on the 27th. This is a lesson to us all. The disease was in Mexico killing young people, then found by Canadians, and it was allowed to escape and is over the world a month later. Had it been deadly, which it might yet become in the second wave, many would have suffered greatly, as would have our economy.

    I rate the health response of the USA as D-minus. We must identify quicker, isolate quicker, and tell the truth.

    Biden was ridiculed for doing so.

  • coolwill Jun 1, 2009

    You might die!! Don’t worry be happy. And don’t forget GM will be closing plants in the U.S. and not Mexico and Canada; they also will receive $30billion of your tax money. You have theses things to look forward to unemployment, higher taxes, swine flu, while theses other countries will receive your $30billion dollars and sell you the cars they built. Don’t worry be happy. There was no one else to vote for. Your country and jobs are being taken over while you worry.

  • coolwill Jun 1, 2009

    again the barn door is already open, there is no need to close the border, just wait your turn. you might get the swine flu sometimes and the regular flu sometimes, and if you have underline problems like the gouth, astma, or ingrown toe nails, you are may die. so just smile and wait your turn.

  • Outside the Beltline Jun 1, 2009

    I think the main reason epidemiologists issue so many warnings when they hear about H1N1 spreading around is its link to the flu pandemics of 1918. The 1918 flu strain was a variant of the H1N1 virus and ended up killing more individuals than World War I. They're worried, and rightfully so, that a strain of "swine" flu could again evolve to carry that kind of virulence and fatality rate.

  • smegma Jun 1, 2009

    borrrrrrrrrinnnnnnng. everybody panic. wait til this winter

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Jun 1, 2009

    Would be nice to know what part of Wake County. Its a big county. Its a different world from one side to another. And from top to bottom.