The Mississippi State Department of Health Monday reported another case of H1N1 swine flu.
The fourth case so far in Mississippi is a young adult male in Forrest County who has fully recovered. Last week, MSDH announced the first three Mississippi cases of H1N1 swine flu, all in Harrison County.
“We will likely continue to see more and more cases in Mississippi. At this point almost all states have seen at least one case of H1N1 swine flu. It’s not uncommon at all,” said state health officer Dr. Ed Thompson. “Again, this strain of flu appears to be clinically similar to seasonal flu, and most people infected with H1N1 swine flu should recover on their own.”
According to Thompson, H1N1 swine flu responds well to traditional anti-viral medications. The very young, the elderly, pregnant women and the chronically ill may be at higher risk.
The MSDH has activated a Swine Flu Hotline seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. at 1-877-222-9FLU (1-877-222-9358).
Officials say prevention is the best method of protection, and Mississippians are encouraged to take the following precautions to reduce the risk of contracting H1N1 swine flu and other flu-like illnesses: wash your hands frequently, cough or sneeze into your sleeve, and avoid close contact with those who are sick. If you are ill, stay home until you are well, unless you need to see a doctor, in which case call first to prevent possible transmission in the doctor’s waiting area.
Schools and childcare facilities are not recommended to close based on the confirmation of local cases of H1N1 swine flu, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This recommendation is made based on the availability of more information on the virus’s transmission and severity of illness. Any school in Mississippi considering closure should first consult with the state Department of Education and MSDH for the latest information and advice.
For more information on H1N1 swine flu, call the toll-free MSDH hotline from 8 a.m. until 9 p.m., or visit the MSDH Web site. A link is provided below. To receive updates on Twitter, visit the MSDH H1N1 swine flu page to sign up as a follower.