DHHS: Swine Flu confirmed in NC

May 4, 2009 4:19:03 AM PDT
North Carolina health officials have confirmed a case of swine flu in Onslow County.State Health Director Dr. Jeff Engle said the person's spouse also became ill and they suspect a second swine flu diagnosis. The couple is in self initiated isolation as called for in CDC regulations.

DHHS expects to announce the results of the second case as soon as later today.

Officials say the couple was exposed to the virus during a five day visit to San Antonio, Texas. They say they do not believe the illness was transferred between the couple, even though one spouse showed signs of the illness before the other.

"All of the folks in Onslow County who have been in contact with the diagnosed patient with the H1N1 virus, are following, we are told by the local health officials, CDC isolation guidelines," Perdue said. "The patient is also following these guidelines. Other probable cases are also following these guidelines."

A tally released Sunday by the CDC showed 30 states now have 226 cases of swine flu. That does not include the North Carolina case.

So far, North Carolina health officials have received 413 samples; one case has been confirmed, six are awaiting confirmation, 65 samples are pending and 320 have tested negative.

"This is a process that is not necessarily quick," DHHS Secretary Lanier Cansler said. "It could go on for weeks or even months and making certain that we are vigilant in following it and protecting ourselves from this illness, is going to be important."

Engle he's awaiting confirmation on four suspected cases in Craven County.

Officials are still investigating how they could have gotten the disease.

No one in North Carolina, who is suffering from the illness, has been hospitalized. Officials say they are afflicted with flu-like symptoms.

Gov. Perdue says North Carolina is working under CDC guidelines in handling the cases.

"These are the guidelines the state has chosen to follow," she said.

Click here to learn more about Swine Flu

Perdue is also urging North Carolina residents and visitors to do what "we need to do to protect ourselves."

She reassured citizens during the conference that the health department is doing everything they can to contain the flu. The testing lab has been working 24 hours since the state was made aware of the scare.

Local receiving centers are scheduled to receive anti-viral makes and medications starting today. But officials say there is no timeline as to when all 100 counties will receive the items.

"Let me reassure all of you that North Carolina is as prepared and some of believe more prepared, than any state in the country," Perdue said.

As always, health officials say to wash your hands and sneeze or cough into your shoulder or arm to protect from spreading germs.

Click here read the guidelines from the state health department


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