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News release from the Mississippi Dept. of Health

JACKSON, Miss. – Today, the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) confirms three cases of H1N1 swine flu. The confirmed cases, two adults and one infant, are all in Harrison County. All three have fully recovered.

“This is not a surprise to us – we knew that H1N1 swine flu would eventually arrive in Mississippi, and we are prepared with stockpiled anti-viral medications and supplies. We’ve been educating the public, and we’re here to answer any questions or concerns. The good news is that this strain of flu is similar to seasonal flu, and most people infected with H1N1 swine flu should recover on their own,” said State Health Officer Dr. Ed Thompson.

According to Dr. 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 will also activate 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).

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 was 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.

SOURCE: MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH (http://www.msdh.state.ms.us/index.htm)

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