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2:24 PM Tue, Oct. 16th

State confirms first Yavapai County swine flu case

State health officials confirmed Yavapai County's first case of the new H1N1 swine flu virus Thursday.

The state also is likely to soon confirm at least two additional cases that look to be the new virus, said Robert Resendes, director of Yavapai County Community Health Services.

That brings Arizona's total as of Thursday to 130 cases. The total nationwide is 896 cases and two deaths in 41 states.

The Yavapai County case involved a Prescott Valley child who didn't need hospitalization and has since recovered. The onset of the child's symptoms was April 28, Resendes said.

Because the new virus has been relatively mild in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is now recommending schools remain open even if officials discover a case within the schools.

Resendes said he is not recommending closing any school at this time and would prefer not to mention which school the child attended to avoid undue concern.

The Arizona State Public Health Laboratory, instead of the CDC, now is testing for the new virus, so local health officials say they should whittle down the backlog of cases soon.

"We expected our total number of positive cases to increase because we are working through the CDC backlog," said Will Humble, interim director of the Arizona Department of Health Services. "This is not a reason for concern."

Nevertheless, he and Resendes said, people need to continue to practice good health hygiene.

"Stay home when you are sick, and wash your hands regularly," Humble said.

In addition, try to limit contact with people who are sick, he added.

The state lab also is asking that local laboratories send in flu samples only from hospitalized patients so the state lab can clear results faster.

Symptoms of the new flu currently are the same as for regular influenza: high fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose and body aches, and some cases have nausea and diarrhea.

Treatment is the same: Stay in bed, rest and drink plenty of fluids, especially water. If you are concerned about your symptoms, contact your doctor.

For up-to-date national information and recommendations, you can visit the CDC website at www.cdc.gov/swineflu.

For detailed information on the new swine flu virus, visit dCourier.com's Vitality section for "Swine flu and you: What the Centers for Disease Control wants you to know," or keyword search: "Swine influenza."