Swine Flu Puerto Rico
No cases of swine flu have been detected in Puerto Rico but various San Juan metropolitan area hospitals remained on the alert for potential cases, commonwealth government officials said Saturday.
A strain of the flu has killed as many as 68 people and sickened more than 1,000 across Mexico. The World Health Organization (WHO) chief said Saturday the strain has "pandemic potential" and it may be too late to contain a sudden outbreak.
Puerto Rico Health Secretary Jaime Rivera Dueño said Saturday he is keeping track of bulletins from the WHO and the federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta. He said he had not recommended a suspension in flights between the island and Mexico.
“We have remained up to date regarding what is happening in Mexico, Texas and Florida through bulletins issued by WHO and the CDC,” Rivera Dueño said in a statement.
“While at the moment we don’t expect any case of swine flu in Puerto Rico, it is recommended that anyone who feels ill should visit a doctor. However, it is prudent to remember that we are in the dengue and flu season and the symptoms of both illnesses are similar to swine flu,” Rivera Dueño said.
Swineflu is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A flu viruses, the CDC's Web site says. Human cases of swineflu are uncommon but can happen in people who are around pigs and can be spread from person to person.
At least nine swineflu cases also have been reported in California and Texas. The new California case, the seventh there, was a 35-year-old Imperial County woman who was hospitalized but recovered. The woman, whose illness began in early April, had no known contact with the other cases.
New York health officials said more than 100 students at the private St. Francis Preparatory School, in Queens, had come down with a fever, sore throat and other aches and pains in the past few days. Some of their relatives also have been ill.
New York City Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden said nose and throat swabs had confirmed that eight students had influenza type A, indicating probable cases of swineflu, but the exact subtypes were still unknown.