Swine Flu Mississippi
Mississippi has no reported cases of swine flu, but the state’s flu surveillance system was activated late last week to increase testing of patients with influenza-like illnesses.
As of Monday afternoon, the Mississippi State Department of Health has received 10 possible flu cultures from across the state but none have yet been confirmed as swine flu, the strain reported in Mexico and now confirmed in five U.S. states. The time frame to identify the strain of flu averages 24 hours to 48 hours, said state health office Dr. Ed Thompson.
If a non-specific Type A-H1N1 is identified in Mississippi it will immediately be sent to Centers for Disease Control to confirm whether it is the swine flu. So far, no Mississippi samples sent to CDC have been confirmed as swine.
One of the difficulties is that both the seasonal flu, which continues to make its rounds since last autumn, and the swine flu are Type A. The flu vaccine administered this season is not known to be effective against the swine flu, MSDH said, but swine flu symptoms and severity can be lessened with some but not all antivirual agents. MSDH currently has 300,000 doses of Tammaflu and expects this week to receive another 75,000, plus there is a commercial supply.
“The situation in the U.S. is extremely fluid and changing every day and the scientific information at this point in the U.S. is that there are 40 confirmed swine cases, no fatalities and only one or a few hospitalization.”
State Epidemilogist Dr. Mary Currie said in an afternoon teleconference with newspapers, radio and TV that all the confirmed U.S. cases have been mild and treatable. She advises anyone with sudden onset flu-like symptoms (fever, headache, muscle aches, possible coughing) to call, not visit, a physician for advice.
MSDH advises to expect that cases of swine flue will likely be diagnosed in this state because the virus, since leaving Mexico, can no longer be contained.