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StarBulletin.com

Statewide swine flu tally tops 500


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POSTED: Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The state Department of Health confirmed 205 cases of  H1N1 Influenza A (swine flu) statewide in the past week, raising the total to 503 cases since the first outbreak here May 5.

No breakdown was available for the number of cases per island  because some still are being investigated, said department  spokeswoman Janice Okubo.

However, she said no severe illnesses or hospitalizations have been reported.

She said the department no longer will report updates on  H1N1 cases after today but numbers will be available on the  U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Protection Web site http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/update.htm.

With swine flu spreading through the community, the department says it is focusing on severe cases, people with high-risk conditions and travelers.

The six department staff members following up on confirmed H1N1 influenza cases are trying to resume their regular work involving other infectious diseases, Okubo said. 

Residents are advised to stay home from work or school if they have the novel swine flu or seasonal flu and to follow prevention measures — washing hands often, covering a cough or sneeze and properly disposing of tissues for runny noses.

The department has investigated and followed up on more than 1,400 people tested for Influenza A, according to its Web site.

The state Laboratories Division does subtype testing on about 60 to 120 Influenza A specimens each work day. Of those testing positive, 40 to 45 percent are novel H1N1 swine flu, 5 to 10 percent are seasonal H1 influenza and 40 to 45 percent are seasonal H3 Influenza.