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State confirms 69 cases of swine flu

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By Angye Morrison

UPDATE: MAY 15, 9:56 A.M.

The DOH confirmed this morning that there are now 69 cases of swine flu. The new cases are in St. Johns County (58-year-old male and 65-year-old female), Broward (1-year-old male) and Miami-Dade (42-year-old male). There are no new probable cases.

UPDATE: MAY 14, 12:39 P.M.

The DOH confirmed this morning that there are now 63 confirmed cases of swine flu. The new cases are a 6-year-old child in Sarasota, an 18-year-old and a 75-year-old in Palm Beach, a 60-year-old in Broward and a 21-year-old in Orange. In addition, there are two more probable cases in Okaloosa County.

UPDATE: MAY 13, 12:10 P.M.

The DOH has announced that there are now 58 confirmed cases of swine flu. The new cases are a 14-year-old female in Broward County, and a 10-year-old female in Miami-Dade.

UPDATE: MAY 13, 10:18 A.M.

The Florida Department of Health has announced today that there is a newly confirmed case of swine flu in Flagler County, a 51-year-old female. This additional case brings the statewide total of confirmed cases to 56.

There are also three additional probable cases in Palm Beach and two in Okaloosa County.

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The Florida Department of Health announced today that there are 55 confirmed cases of H1N1 swine flu statewide.

There is one confirmed case in each of the following counties: Osceola, Alachua, Indian River, Marion, Caly, Collier, Lake, Manatee, Seminole, Okeechobee and Duval; two cases in Orange, Brevard and Sarasota counties; three in Pinellas; seven in Lee; eight in Hillsborough; and 10 each in Miami-Dade and Broward.

New confirmed cases are: Osceola, 6-year-old male; Brevard, a 7-year-old female and a 7-year-old male; Sarasota, a 2-year-old male and a 10-year-old female; Pinellas,19-year-old female and a 13-year-old male; Hillsborough, a 27-year-old male and an 11-year-old female; Broward, a 12-year-old female, a 9-year-old male, a 17-year-old female, a 3-year-old male, a 23-year-old male and a 42-year-old male; Dade, a 23-year-old male, a 7-year-old male, a 16-year-old male, a 12-year-old female, a 16-year-old female, an 11-year-old female and a 6-year-old (unknown sex); Lee, a 10-year-old male, a 7-year-old male, a 21-year-old female, an 18-year-old male, an 8-year-old female, a 7-year-old male and a 60-year-old female; Manatee, a 2-year-old female; Marion, a 17-year-old female; and Lake, a 29-year-old male .

State Surgeon General Ana Viamonte Ros has declared a statewide public health emergency, and is urging residents to seek immediate medical care if flu-like symptoms manifest. The surgeon general also warns parents that if children are sick, particularly if they exhibit flu-like symptoms, they should be seen by a doctor immediately and kept at home.

There are currently four probable cases in Flagler, Palm Beach and Okaloosa counties.

There are 226 confirmed cases of novel influenza (H1N1) in the U.S., with two deaths, a 23-month-old, and a woman in Texas, who died earlier this week after she was diagnosed with swine flu.

All four state Department of Health laboratories have received testing supplies from the Centers for Disease Control and now can test samples to confirm H1N1 swine flu. This testing capability allows the department to expedite results as it will no longer need to send probable cases to CDC laboratories.

H1N1 novel influenza, also known as swine flu, is a respiratory illness caused by a virus. H1N1 is a certain kind of influenza that can cause infection in humans.

The symptoms are similar to seasonal flu: fever (above 100 degrees Fahrenheit), cough, sore throat, stuffy nose and, in some cases, diarrhea and vomiting.

H1N1 influenza is spread when a person with flu coughs or sneezes, or by touching something with flu viruses on it and then touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

What can you do to protect yourself from getting sick?

• Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue every time you cough or sneeze. Throw the used tissue in the waste basket.

• If you don't have a tissue, sneeze or cough into your sleeve.

• Clean your hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

• Avoid close contact with people who are sick, if possible.

• Stay healthy: Eat nutritious foods, get enough sleep and exercise.

If you become ill with influenza-like symptoms, including fever, cough, sore throat and stuffy nose, you should call your health care provider to determine if you need influenza testing or treatment, and stay home and avoid contact with other people as much as possible to keep from spreading your illness to others.

The state has set up a toll-free information line for the H1N1 virus, 1-800-775-8039.

CDC guidelines are available on the Department of Health's Web site, www.doh.state.fl.us.