State officials say they have a plan to deal with the spread of the swine flu.
Officials at the Department of Health and Environmental Control have confirmed two probable cases of swine flu at the Newberry Academy, that arose after a group of students took a trip to Mexico. The cases are being sent to the federal Centers for Disease control for further evaluation.
The Newberry Academy will be closed all week, and was scheduled to be sanitized Tuesday to reduce the chance of future infections.
Chief of D.H.E.C.’s Bureau of Disease Control Jerry Gibson says the C.D.C. will probably have a vaccine for the new virus within several months. “So our job is to slow the spread of this virus until there’s a vaccine. It’s always possible that this will behave differently than we expect and it will sort of die back down. But we have to go on the working assumption that it will spread like the regular flu, which is what it has been doing so far.”
Gibson says before a vaccine is developed, D.H.E.C. will fight spread of the disease using what officials call “community mitigation.” “Each person who is a suspect case of the new virus will isolate themselves in their home. One of the things we will do for the affected person is assure that they get antivirul treatment, and secondly that they get a test going to our state lab to confirm that it is, in fact, the swine-type virus.”
Gibson says two medications are available through pharmacists for flu preventation and to help once symptoms begin. Contact your doctor for further information. D.H.E.C. will distribute its own supply of the medications through local health centers.
The number of Swine flu infections in the U.S. has now jumped to around 70. They include 15 in North Carolina and three in Charlotte.