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Probable H1N1 case at Germantown school

May 15, 2009 2:37:03 PM PDT
This is not confirmed, however, Philadelphia does have 14 confirmed swine cases already.Health officials in Philadelphia are investigating a probable case at a Germantown elementary school. There are now 14 confirmed cases in Philadelphia.

Meanwhile three schools in New York were shut down Friday and there's been a fourth death reported in the U.S. in Arizona.

Texas has also reported a third death due to swine flu.

Local experts say this serves as a reminder we're not out of the woods yet. Parents of students Pennypacker Elementary School received a letter letting them know a student there has been diagnosed with a probable case of swine flu. The letter states the illness caused by the new virus does not appear to be more severe than the seasonal flu which is why many parents say they're not too concerned.

"Not really too concerned, just telling my daughter to not put her hands in her nose or mouth and keep washing her hands with sanitizer," said Sherry Bradley.

Health officials say there's no reason to close the school but in New York City three schools have been shut down. There are hundreds of kids with flu-like symptoms reported there and at one school there are five confirmed cases of the H1N1 virus. A faculty member is among the sick he is in critical condition.

Dr. Marla Gold, dean of Drexel University's School of Public Health, says this is evidence the virus is still circulating.

"I don't think this is a system fault and I don't think this is a new circulation of the disease. I do think we've become a little complacent."

She says although the virus appears to be mild just like the seasonal flu, it can be deadly especially for people with underlying medical problems. So to keep everyone safe she reminds us to take precautions and teach kids to do the same.

"They have their hand sanitizer in the bag and wipes so they're all prepared," said Diane Wint.

The CDC announced they expect to downgrade the travel advisory to Mexico to a travel precaution. That means people with medical conditions will still be advised to talk to their doctor before traveling to Mexico.

Doctors say they still expect the virus to disappear in the summer months but return in the fall. Companies are working on a vaccine.

TOTAL CONFIRMED SWINE FLU CASES IN THE DELAWARE VALLEY:

Pennsylvania has 40 confirmed cases.

Delaware has 61 confirmed cases (up 6 from Wednesday. Only one Delaware case has been hospitalized but was released. All other cases are recovering after mild symptoms.)

N.J. has 15 confirmed cases.

LINK: http://www.dsf.health.state.pa.us/health/cwp/view.asp?q=252990

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