Confirmed Ga. H1-N1 cases climb to four - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Confirmed Ga. H1-N1 cases climb to four

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By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Georgia now has four confirmed cases of the H1-N1 virus, double the number Monday, and another sample is awaiting confirmation by the CDC.

The newest cases are a 3-year-old Cobb County boy and a 36-year-old pregnant Dekalb County woman.

The state lab has received 225 specimens, and 149 of them have tested negative.

Texas officials confirmed the first death of a U. S. resident from swine flu; A woman who lived near the Mexico border.

Southwest Georgia Health officials were busy with paperwork Tuesday morning so they can begin handing out 44 boxes of antiviral medication received from the federal stockpile. They're being distributed to hospitals in 14 southwest Georgia counties.

While H1-N1 cases in other states are starting to decline, Georgia's cases are just beginning to surface.

"We have just started to see cases, so we haven't yet peaked in this first anticipated wave," said District Health Director Dr. Jacqueline Grant.

More south Georgia specimens are headed to the state lab. So far results are pending on nine south Georgia cases. While southwest Georgia hasn't had a case yet, that could soon change.

"I think it's probably inevitable that we will likely see cases as this goes on," she said.

To cut down exposure, students from Eagle's Landing Christian Academy in Henry County have been told they can't compete in state playoffs.

"With most infectious disease there's a period of time that one would incubate an illness before they exhibit the symptoms and during that incubation period especially the day prior to exhibiting symptoms one can be infectious," said Grant.

That's why health officials say, no matter if they sound like a broken record, it's important to stress good hygiene.

"Washing your hands and you're using the sneeze etiquette or cough etiquette, avoid people who are sick, stay home if you are sick," said Dr. Craig Smith.

With 54 cases being processed at the state lab and more on the way, it's likely Georgia's count will continue to climb.

The CDC no longer recommends closing schools if a student gets the flu. They say keeping sick kids at home is enough to prevent the spread of the disease.

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