Georgia sees second case of H1-N1 - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Georgia sees second case of H1-N1

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By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - A second person has tested positive for the H1-N1 virus in Georgia, and doctors suspect three other people have swine flu.

The newest case is a 14 year old boy in Henry County. The private school he attends at Eagles Landing is temporarily closed.

There's good news in South Georgia, though. Suspected swine flue cases have tested negative.

 Positive tests are expected for a three year old in Cobb County, and eight year old in Clayton County and a 36 year old pregnant woman in DeKalb County. Southwest Georgia's probable cases for two adults were negative.

 "The two cases that we had one from Dougherty one from Thomas were both negative," said Dr. Jacqueline Grant, Southwest Georgia Health Department Director.

Health officials say the virus is in communities now. That means you could be susceptible even if you haven't traveled recently.

"Once it gets into the community where other people can be exposed, then the Mexican connection kind of goes by the way side," said Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Craig Smith.

The good news is, as the CDC investigates the virus further, they're finding out it isn't as deadly as first thought.

"This combination virus does not have any of the major deadly genes that we've known in the past. That doesn't mean it won't change in the future, but currently it appears to be the average type virus for making someone sick," said Smith.

In fact, Georgia's most recent cases haven't required any hospitalization. Health officials say, it's still important to remember those good hygiene practices and you may want to consider that fist bump over a full handshake.

"If you feel badly about it you can always tell people I'm under the weather and would rather not shake your hand," Grant said.

Both Influenza A and B viruses can survive up to 48 hours on hard non-porous surfaces like stainless steel or plastic so health officials say you may want to reconsider what you touch in a day.

The CDC is reporting 286 lab confirmed cases of H1-N1 in 36 states and from now on, will only report the total number of probable cases of infection on a nationwide level.

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