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Swine flu spreads across N.C.

Posted June 10, 2009
Updated June 11, 2009

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— There are 59 cases of the H1N1 virus in North Carolina. Four new cases, an adult and three children, were confirmed Wednesday in Johnston County.

Four more cases of swine flu in Johnston Four more cases of swine flu in Johnston

Chatham County also has three new cases of the illness, which is also called swine flu. Its cases involve two students at Horton Middle School and a preschool-aged child who does not attend school.

"We've had a good number of calls about it (H1N1),” said Dr. Renee Johnson, with Apex Pediatrics Center.

Johnson's office put together a task force to help patients concerned about the illness. State health officials say it is getting tougher to keep up with the number of people with flu-like symptoms.

"We're now at the point where we are telling clinicians if they see flu-like illness, fever, cough, sore throat, that they should consider that to be H1N1 and act accordingly," said Dr. Megan Davies, with the N.C. Department of Health.

Due to all the new cases, the World Health Organization is close to declaring a swine flu pandemic, a move that would mean the virus is widespread around the world, and could trigger a large-scale vaccine production.

The designation would also prompt the state health department to test less, and to stop providing daily numbers of how many people are infected.

"We'll talk more about what percentage of doctor visits are related to flu-like illness, rather than specific numbers because the number of cases will be such that it will be difficult to keep up with them on a daily basis," Davies said.

Drugmakers are on track to have a H1N1 vaccine in the fall.

"I think there's been enough information out there and media attention that people will be very interested in getting that flu shot," Johnson said.

Health officials say people in high-risk groups, such as children under age five, pregnant women and those with chronic medical conditions, need to be extra careful and see a doctor if they feel sick.

Ways you can help prevent the transmission of the H1N1 virus are:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub
  • Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing
  • Avoid close contact with those who are sick
  • Stay at home if you are sick

Influenza-like symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people have reported diarrhea or vomiting associated with this virus.

Like seasonal flu, the H1N1 virus can vary in severity from mild to severe. This strain of influenza appears to be milder than the seasonal influenza.

16 Comments

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  • wu Jun 15, 2009

    Swine flu don't worry, I worry more about TB. someone is infected with TB every 4 seconds in the world. WU

  • smegma Jun 15, 2009

    you people are crazy. it's just the flu. no different than any other year. if you catch it every year you'll probably get it if you don't you won't. next topic

  • 1Moms_View Jun 12, 2009

    commonsenseman, there probably are many more cases where people have either not been diagnosed properly, are awaiting confirmation from CDC, or have not seen a physician yet. I've had kids at school and many not attending showing flu like symptoms.

  • batcave Jun 12, 2009

    My kid goes to Morrisville ELEM only 7 kids left in her class today. My kid has tested postitive for flu , but waiting on H1N1 test. Thats out of 19 kid total I think

  • Caveman93 Jun 12, 2009

    What's the body count up to now?

  • peacebee Jun 12, 2009

    Article needs to be updated...WHO declared Phase 6 Pandemic yesterday. Their stance is one of moderation, not panic. Keep in mind that most gov't's and companies planned for worst case scenario, which is why at first, the response was a bit strong. And then also, no one really knew if this would be the 'big one', which according to statistics and available data, is entirely possible/probable. The good thing is that a more measured response is now being taken in most places. Tragically, there are lives that are being lost due to this, but fortunately not to the degree that was expected. The other fear is that this could be the "herald wave", followed by a more deadly strain in the next flu season. That is how the pandemic of 1918 went...a small wave in the summer of 1918, and then 45M dead by the end of the pandemic. It could wipe out a 3rd world country, and significantly impact many lives, so it is still a very serious issue.

  • Caveman93 Jun 11, 2009

    I see this is really out of control now. Where are the piles of burning corpses?? Now that's a pandemic! Okay, so let's all go stimulate the economy really quick and buy our masks, guns, tissues and canned goods and barracade ourselves in our homes okay?

  • teacher56 Jun 11, 2009

    The WHO had to declare this a pandemic so that they can begin to make a vaccine for the flu for the fall and winter. That is why this level was heightened.
    Regarding how quickly this flu is spreading: I teach school and in my county the doctors are not testing for this flu. My county has yet to have any H1N1 official cases. But my classroom had about half the kids out in the past month. I began with disinfecting the desks with a 10% Clorox solution the week before NYC closed that first school. I was keeping up with the info on other websites and figured this was something to deal with. My concern is if this mutates and we have a major killer flu in the fall/winter. Well we won't know until it happens.

  • dogman1973 Jun 11, 2009

    Never let a crisis go to waste or at least that is what Obamas’ folks like to say. Obama and his cronies will likely use this influenza to force Universal PORK Healthcare aka Fat Ted Kennedy Bill on us! Of course, they would like to see the mortality rates increase to really warp speed this into Congress's hand for passage before anyone has a chance to read it! But alas, this influenza isn’t making too much of an impact overall in the number of deaths. So for the most part, this flu will run its course, and hopefully without the guvments involvement. 'Cause they sure to make a mess out of everything they touch, but not all of you have clued into that notion, yet!

  • Orange RN Jun 11, 2009

    If you look at the facts: a novel influenza virus spreading in communities in more than one World Health Organization region. Novel H1N1 has certainly met the criteria for a pandemic. Odd that one would think CDC made this up or is overstating. It is what it is…

    See: http://www.who.int/csr/disease/avian_influenza/phase/en/index.html

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