State News

N.C. confirms first case of H1N1 virus

Posted May 3, 2009
Updated May 4, 2009

— A resident of Onslow County who recently traveled to Texas is North Carolina's first confirmed case of swine flu, Gov. Beverly Perdue said Sunday.

State health officials talk about H1N1 State health officials talk about H1N1

Perdue told reporters at the Department of Health and Human Services that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the case.

"Let me reassure all of you that North Carolina is as prepared, and some of us believe, more prepared, than any state in the country," Perdue said. "We have had an emergency center up and running for more than a week in case this day came, and here it is."

Perdue said everyone who has been in contact with the patient are following CDC isolation guidelines, as is the patient. No secondary cases have been reported so far.

The governor stressed to the state's residents and visitors that they should take the necessary precautions, such as washing their hands thoroughly, covering their mouths when they sneeze or cough and stay at home if they feel sick.

State health director Dr. Jeffrey Engel would neither identify nor give any details about the patient, except to say a couple who had traveled to San Antonio acquired the disease. Engel said he didn't know when they had been there, but did say that they had been there for around five days when they picked up the flu.

Engel said the couple has been ordered into isolation for seven days after the initial manifestation of symptoms, and the spouse is a probable case awaiting CDC confirmation, possibly on Monday. Neither has been to the hospital, he said.

"None of their contacts has become ill," Engel said.

So far, the state lab has handled 413 samples and had 320 come back negative. Of those, 65 are still outstanding, Engel said.

Six cases are probable, and one test involving a traveler from Wake County is being rerun because the results were inconclusive, he said. The man was allowed to return to Canada this week after a North Carolina clinician initially suspected he only had a Canadian variant of the seasonal Type A flu, officials said.

Engel also pointed to four probable cases in Craven County, and those cases are in a cluster and are in isolation in keeping with CDC guidelines.

"The Craven (County) cluster is still under investigation, but it's likely that there was household transmission. But all of these folks are being isolated in their homes, (and) none of them are hospitalized yet,” Engel said.

The tally released Sunday by the CDC also shows 30 states now have cases of swine flu. That's up from the CDC's count of 160 confirmed cases in 21 states.

If you have questions about the H1N1 virus in North Carolina, call 800-662-7030.


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  • the JETHROSEXUAL May 4, 2009


  • Imagine 722 May 4, 2009

    If you are not in NC now.... STAY OUT MAN!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • TheAdmiral May 4, 2009

    "Sounds like most Americans who came down with H1N1 were affluent and went to Mexico on Spring Break."

    Last time I checked, a College student or anyone else for that matter can get a nearly free ride to Mexico. I don't know where you get the idea that they are affluent - I guess the illegal alien who took their kid to Houston for medical treatment with the disease is affluent.

  • DontLikeTheSocialistObama May 4, 2009

    Sounds like most Americans who came down with H1N1 were affluent and went to Mexico on Spring Break.

    Now the rest of us are being threatened by the excesses of the affluent.

  • housemanagercary May 4, 2009

    Where were you that you didn't get "1 drop of rain"? I got rain all 3 days.

  • clintoflannagan May 4, 2009

    Yeah I agree time4real. WRAL should supply us with 100% accurate weather predictions all the time. I mean gee whiz every other news station does it. Everyone knows it's easy to correctly predict the weather 100% of the time. Come on WRAL!! Get with the program!!

  • time4real May 4, 2009

    this was as much a concern as the "raincoat weekend" once again FALSELY predicted by wral on Friday. Not 1 drop of rain, but 200mph winds. Just like this morning. Beyond Clueless!

  • time4real May 4, 2009

    Pandemic Smandemic, another case of over reaction! As MANY predicted, another false alarm!

  • jgilchr May 4, 2009

    Perhaps we should close the Texas border.

  • cj1979 May 4, 2009

    Congratulatoins to NC for finally getting that case of swine flu within its borders...

    Here's wishing a speedy recovery to this patient and all who have contracted swine flu.