Illinois has 3 confirmed H1N1 flu cases

May 1, 2009 1:04:36 PM PDT
The state health department says there are now at least three confirmed cases of H1N1 flu in Illinois, and two of those confirmed cases are in Chicago. The other confirmed case is in DuPage County.Also, there are 51 suspected cases in the state. All are in Chicago and the surrounding counties, including Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will.

NEWS CONFERENCE VIDEO: Cook County officials gathered at the Office of Emergency Management and Communications to talk about the local response.

Although some schools have closed, classes were in session Friday at Wood Dale Junior High in suburban Wood Dale, despite a probable case of the H1N1 flu.

"I'm not confident," said parent Ieornci Mora, who hesitated Friday morning when he dropped his daughter off at Wood Dale.

Mora said he wondered if the school should have been closed since a student there was recovering from a probable case of the virus.

"I don't know what's going to happen. I will leave her hear today, but next week I may keep her home," Mora told ABC7 Chicago.

The school superintendent, John Corbet, tried to ease fears Friday by greeting parents and their children at the front of the school. He says since the ill student has not been in school since Monday and since the attendance rate is consistent, health department officials recommended keeping school open.

However, if parents do not want to send their kids to school, Corbet said that was fine.

"A few parents were concerned, and we always tell them if they are concerned, it's always there option to keep their child home. It's the same if it's a snow day or cold day. It's their option to keep them home," said Corbet.

DuPage County Health Department officials briefed students and teachers on how to protect themselves by washing hands and covering their mouths when they cough.

"What we did was provide staff and faculty here with information comparing what we're seeing from the swine flu cases in contrast and in comparison with the seasonal flu, and we find there's no appreciable difference. So, what we'd like for children to do is, if children are sick, keep them home, give them lots of fluids. Have them rest and keep them home for a period of seven days," said the DuPage County Health Department's Karen Ayala.

All cases are probable until they are confirmed by the CDC. Health experts say the numbers will only increase. However, they say, this is not reason to panic. What's important is how quickly people recover from this new flu.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is reporting is 141 flu cases across 19 states in the United States. Also, Asia has its first confirmed case of the H1N1 flu. That patient is a Mexican citizen who developed a fever after arriving in Hong Kong via Shanghai.

Meanwhile, Continental Airlines is going to reduce its number of flights to Mexico and use smaller planes.

Twelve H1N1 flu deaths have been confirmed in Mexico and one in the United States.


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