Flu makes its way to Tampa Bay

05/04/09 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday | Listen to this entire show:

Pinellas County today confirmed its first swine flu victim. County Health officials say a 24-year-old male who recently traveled to Mexico is now resting at home. They say his case did not require hospitalization.

Yesterday Hillsborough County officials announced that at least five suspected cases have also been sent to the Centers for Disease Control for further scrutiny, and three schools have been closed as a precaution.

Hillsborough Health Department Director Dr. Doug Holt said the virus samples from people with flu symptoms are sent to the CDC when they don't match known viruses.

The Tampa Tribune reports that it is now taking the CDC five to seven days to take tests from new virus samples.

The three schools in Hillsborough County that are closed this week are Freedom High School and Wilson and Liberty middle schools.

Stephen Hegarty, a spokesman for the Hillsborough County School District, says about 4,000 students in the district have been told not to come to school this week.

Adding the Pinellas County man, the state now has five confirmed cases and 15 probable cases of swine flu. The Florida Department of Health said today that a 7-year-old boy is the second confirmed Lee County . The department previously announced cases in Lee, Broward and Orange counties.

The department also said that in addition to the five probable cases in Hillsborough County, three probable cases in Miami-Dade County, two in Palm Beach County and one each in Alachua, Lee, Indian River, Okeechobee and Clay counties.

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