DHEC: Swine flu 'probable' in South Carolina school

Image by Flickr user Eneas Image by 20090428-swine.jpg The illness has gripped Mexico, which has been much harder hit in both illness and death. -- The U.S. had zero deaths tied to the flu.

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Compiled by searching for swine flu keywords and Newberry or SC.

Update April 29: The count has moved up. Get the latest here.

Update April 28, 4 p.m.: The Post and Courier reports that there may have been one local case. That's still awaiting testing, and is very much a maybe.

First reporting:

South Carolina's Department of Health and Environmental Control has confirmed that at least two suspect cases are "probably" the swine flu virus and has sent the samples to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more testing.

The people tested were students, faculty, and friends of those at the Newberry Academy who had recently returned from a trip to Mexico -- read more about that here.

If you're concerned about getting sick (or if you might be sick) read this helpful page at S.C. DHEC.

Here's more information from the press release:

“Of the viruses sampled, two were type A, unsubtypable. That means, because this is a novel virus, we will assume that these two cases that were tested at the lab do have the new swine flu virus and these will now be considered ‘probable cases,’ so they are being sent to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for further evaluation and testing,” said Jerry Gibson, M.D., chief of DHEC’s Bureau of Disease Control. “We expect that those who are sick to voluntarily isolate themselves for a short time, and those who were exposed should voluntarily quarantine themselves at home. DHEC will assure those in isolation will receive appropriate treatment.

“These steps are asked not only to help exposed and infected citizens, but also to protect others from exposure and illness, and to prevent further spread,” Dr. Gibson said. “Isolation and quarantine are used to protect your family, friends, and others from the virus.”

Gibson said that you should wash your hands frequently, cover your cough and sneezes with your sleeve (not your hand), and if you have signs or symptoms of Influenza, you should avoid crowds and if your symptoms become severe you should contact your health care provider.

More information:

We'll continue to keep you updated here and on our swine flu topic page. Also be sure to check out this Wikipedia page for more.

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