April 29, 2009

Three Possible Cases of Swine Flu Discovered in Cortland

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The Cortland County Health Department announced yesterday that they are waiting for lab results from two suspected cases of swine flu in Cortland, N.Y., and they are investigating a third unrelated case to see if it meets the criteria for swine flu.
According to Theresa Lyczko, director of Health Promotion Program at Tompkins County Health Department, no additional information was available yesterday.
The Central N.Y. Real-Time News reported that one of the possible cases involves a Cortland County resident who works in Madison County and got sick after a trip to Mexico.
Yesterday, State Health Commissioner Dr. Richard Daines said at a news conference in Albany that his department is investigating 10 to 15 potential swine flu cases throughout the state. In addition to the suspected cases in Cortland, the Health Department is testing lab samples received from Monroe, Chautauqua and Suffolk counties.
According to the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as of 11 a.m. yesterday, the number of confirmed U.S. cases has increased to 64, up from 40 cases on Monday. Specifically, 45 cases have been identified in New York, one in Ohio, two in Kansas, six in Texas and 10 in California. Later that day, the University of Delaware announced that four students are showing symptoms of swine flu.
The New York Times also reported that two new swine flu cases were confirmed in Israel and at least 11 confirmed cases were identified in New Zealand, thus making a total of seven countries proven to have seen cases of the disease. Despite the increasing international prevalence of swine flu, deaths from the disease have only occurred in Mexico.
The World Health Organization has also raised the worldwide pandemic alert level to Phase 4 in response to the increasing outbreaks. Phase 4, which is fourth on a six-level scale, is characterized by confirmed person-to-person spread of the swine flu that is able to cause community-level outbreaks.