June 20, 2009

Two cases of swine flu confirmed in county

The two cases of probable swine flu discovered in Merced County earlier this month have been confirmed, local public health officials said Friday.

The county's health department announced on June 11 that two Westside residents were thought to be infected with the virus. Officials said initial tests had come back positive but that they were awaiting final results from a state public health lab in Richmond.

The state lab reported late this week that the two suspected cases have been confirmed as novel H1N1 flu, the county said in a statement.

The cases are the first to be identified in Merced County.

One of the flu patients, a woman, was hospitalized. She has since been released and is recovering well, county spokeswoman Katie Albertson said Friday.

The other, a boy under the age of 18, was not hospitalized and has already recovered.

Officials wouldn't name the victims or provide any more specific information about their ages or where they live in the county. They have said the cases are not thought to be linked in any way.

Last week, the World Health Organization declared swine flu a pandemic.

The Merced County Department of Health has created a Web site dedicated to H1N1 flu, www.co.merced.ca.us/flu. More information on swine flu symptoms and prevention is available at www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/.

Reporter Corinne Reilly can be reached at (209)385-2477 or creilly@mercedsun-star.com.

Related content