Topeka — The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has confirmed two cases of swine flu in the state.
According to a department news release, both cases come from the same family in Dickinson County. One member of the family recently traveled to Mexico where this particular strain of flu has originated.
Neither person was hospitalized, however one person is still recovering.
“It’s not yet known whether this will become the next flu pandemic,” stated Dr. Jason Eberhart-Phillips, State Health Officer and Director of the KDHE Division of Health. “We are working closely with health agencies at all levels and are continuing to monitor these cases. We are taking this situation very seriously.”
New York City officials announced Saturday that eight students at a high school in Queens probably have swine flu, but they're unsure of the strain type. Swine flu cases also have been reported in California and Texas.
A strain of the flu has killed as many as 68 people and sickened more than 1,000 across Mexico. The World Health Organization chief said Saturday that the strain has "pandemic potential" and it may be too late to contain a sudden outbreak.
The symptoms of swine flu in humans are similar to the symptoms of seasonal flu and include:
• Fever greater than 100 degrees
• Body aches
• Sore throat
• Respiratory congestion
• In some cases, diarrhea and vomiting
Individuals who experience the above symptoms should contact their physician, who will determine whether testing or treatment is needed. There is no vaccine available right now to protect against swine flu. As with any influenza virus, individuals are encouraged to take the following steps to reduce spread:
• Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer to get rid of most germs and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
• Stay home when you are sick to avoid spreading illness to co-workers and friends.
• Cough or sneeze into your elbow or a tissue and properly dispose of used tissues.
• Stay healthy by eating a balanced diet, drinking plenty of water and getting adequate rest
Check back to LJWorld.com later for more information on this developing story.