(07/27/2009)
The Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department has confirmed one Swine Flu (H1N1) case in Calhoun County and one in Ritchie County.

The MOVHD says the Calhoun case is a 24-64 male, not requring hospitalization.

The new cases bring the total confirmed cases in the six counties the health department serves to 81. Health Department officials said that only one person of the 81 cases has been hospitalized for the virus.

"We are seeing most of the cases as mild cases that do not require hospitalization. We are hoping the virus stays like that. We cannot predict if the virus is going to change, " said MOVHD Regional Epidemiologist Sherif Ibrahim.

Ibrahim said that sensitive groups like children and the elderly need to be particularly cautious.

The Center for Disease Control officials have updated their seasonal flu guidelines saying all children 6 months to 16 years should get an annual flu shot.

They say 83% of the U.S. population is recommended to get a flu shot, but last year only 40 percent did.

The health department is encouraging people to get the annual flu vaccine, although it will not protect people against the H1N1 or Swine Flu.

The department has expressed concern about the upcoming flu season, indicating Swine Flu could compound the problem.

The CDC is expected to make an announcement about Swine Flu vaccine about mid October..

The health department wants the public to practice thorough hand washing and stay away from people that maybe in infected with the virus.


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