Kids among swine flu cases in NJ

April 30, 2009 4:08:40 PM PDT
Two school-aged children are among the five confirmed swine flu cases in New Jersey, but health officials said schools have no need to worry. The confirmed cases include a 47-year-old man, 14-year-old boy and 10-year-old girl from the same Burlington County family who recently traveled together to Mexico.

The children have not gone to school since returning, according to a Corzine administration official who spoke on condition on anonymity because the official was not authorized to speak about the cases.

The other two confirmed cases involve unrelated women - a 43-year-old from Monmouth County and a 22-year-old woman from Bergen County. One recently traveled to Mexico, the other to California.

Mexico is considered the epicenter of the swine flu outbreak. California has several confirmed cases.

The first five suspected New Jersey cases were announced on Monday and the CDC confirmed the cases on Thursday, said Health Department spokeswoman Donna Leusner.

The department has launched a stepped-up monitoring program involving doctors and hospitals statewide, Deputy Commissioner Dr. Susan Walsh said. The department also has asked schools and day care centers to be watchful for children with influenza-like symptoms and report them to their local health departments.

New Jersey has stockpiled some 800,000 doses of Tamiflu and other antiviral medications.

The symptoms of swine flu are similar to those of seasonal flu and include fever, lack of appetite, coughing and fatigue.

The U.S. cases have appeared to be much milder than the Mexican cases, although federal officials have said they expect to see more U.S. deaths from the virus.

The state has set up a 24-hour hot line for worried residents to get answers.

The number is 866-321-9571.

RELATED LINK: New Jersey Health Department


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