Monday, May 25, 2009

Three cases of swine flu has confirmed in Baltimore

Baltimore has its first three confirmed cases of H1N1 virus, also known as swine flu, the city health department said Sunday.

All of the three people infected with the virus are adults, but not elderly, according to health officials. One of the people who fell ill is in a local hospital.

Health officials have released few details about the infected individuals, citing confidentiality.

The three cases are still under investigation, according to Dr. Anne Bailowitz, medical director for Environmental Health and Emergency Programs at the City Health Department.

To date, there have been 46 confirmed cases reported in Maryland, according to the health department. There have been no deaths resulting from the virus in the state.

"We continue to closely monitor these cases and the spread of H1N1 flu here in the city," Interim Commissioner Olivia Farrow said in a news release. "The outbreak of H1N1 in Maryland continues to involve generally mild symptoms similar to ordinary seasonal flu."

Initially, the virus caused widespread panic. But health officials now believe that cases have been mostly mild. Health officials have even backed off on closing schools at which students are sick.

In a statement, Mayor Sheila Dixon said: "I urge city residents to do their part to stop the spread of this illness by washing their hands frequently, practicing good cough hygiene and staying home if flu-like symptoms do develop."


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