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State surgeon general declares public health emergency

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By Angye Morrison

UPDATED MAY 4:

Florida has five confirmed cases of swine flu, according to a press release received today from the Florida Department of Health. Two cases are confirmed in Lee County, one in Broward, one in Orange and one in Pinellas.

The cases termed "probable" in Alachua, Lee, Indian River, Okeechobee and Clay counties, as well as two cases in Palm Beach and three in Miami-Dade, are still in the process of being confirmed.

 

UPDATED MAY 3:

The state surgeon general has declared a public health emergency in the state of Florida. As of today, there are three confirmed cases of swine flu. In addition to two previously confirmed cases, an additional case has been reported in Orange County. That case is reportedly a 14-year-old female visitor who has returned to Mexico.

Alachua, Pinellas, Indian River, Okeechobee, Lee and Clay have one probable case each. Palm Beach and Miami-Dade have two each, while Hillsborough County has five probable cases.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported 226 confirmed cases of novel influenza in the U.S., with one death, a 23-month-old.

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.

PREVIOUSLY POSTED, MAY 1:

Five additional cases of possible swine flu have been reported in Florida, bringing the total number of cases pending to eight.

The cases have been reported to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and two have been confirmed. Review of each case takes about 48 hours.

The first confirmed case is an 11-year-old male who attends Spring Creek Elementary School in Lee County, and the other is a 17-year-old female who attends Hallandale High School in Broward County. There are currently no school closures in Florida.

State Surgeon General Ana Viamonte Ros said in a press release Friday that two cases of the new strain, named the H1N1 virus, are from Palm Beach and Lee counties, and there are cases reported in Pinellas, Orange, Broward and Alachua as well.

Viamonte Ros said there are currently no protocols in place, but she is urging people to see their physicians immediately if they show signs of flu-like symptoms. She also urges people to take precautions such as washing your hands frequently, don’t sneeze or cough in open areas, and stay home if you are sick. 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.

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.