Va. Health Officials Confirm 11 Cases of Swine Flu

Maryland schools reopen

WASHINGTON -- The number of confirmed cases of swine flu in Virginia has jumped to 11, including seven at Washington & Lee University, state health officials said Wednesday.

None of the patients has been hospitalized, and all either have recovered or were recovering well, according to a news release from the Virginia Department of Health.

"The good news is that we are continuing to see mild cases of H1N1 infection and patients are receiving good medical care and are recovering," Health Commissioner Karen Remley said in the release, referring to the disease by its official name.

It helps that Virginia is among the first states to test its own suspected cases instead of waiting two days or more for results from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta,   Remley said.

The state received testing kits from the CDC last week and began conducting its own tests on Monday.

"This will enhance our ability to identify and track where these cases are occurring and to respond if necessary," Remley said.

At Washington & Lee in Lexington, five men and two women were confirmed to have the virus.

School officials did not immediately respond to telephone and e-mail requests for comment.

Health officials said the other people who tested positive were a man and a woman in the Chesterfield health district; a man in the Three Rivers district, which covers the Middle Peninsula and Northern Neck; and a girl in the Norfolk district.

A Norfolk preschool that closed on Monday as a result of the case there reopened Wednesday. The CDC has advised schools not to close if there is a probable or confirmed case.

The 11 cases include three that previously were confirmed.

Swine flu has sickened more than 1,750 people worldwide, including more than 600 in the U.S. Two people have died from the disease in the U.S., including a toddler visiting from Mexico, where swine flu has killed 42 people.

By comparison, the regular flu kills about 36,000 each year in this country.

The state will concentrate its testing on those who are at a higher risk for complications from swine flu, including those hospitalized with flu-like illnesses, pregnant women, the elderly, young children, health care workers and those with chronic health conditions, Remley said.

The state continues to operate a call center to answer questions about swine flu. The number is 877-ASK-VDH3.

3 more probables reported in Maryland

Maryland health officials are reporting three more probable swine flu cases. The state is now investigating 18 probable cases and has confirmed four cases.

Two of the latest probable cases are from Prince George's County and the third is from Anne Arundel County. Health officials are describing all three as youths and say all three are recovering at home and have not been hospitalized.

Prince George's County has the most probable cases with seven, while Anne Arundel County has five, Montgomery County has three, and Baltimore, Charles and Harford counties each have one probable case.

Of the four confirmed cases, three are from Baltimore County and one is from Anne Arundel County.

Following amended guidelines from U.S. health officials, all Maryland schools closed because of possible swine flu cases will reopen Wednesday.

On Tuesday, health officials said schools with possible cases do not have to close for up to 14 days, a reverse of the Centers for Disease Controls recommendation from last week.

On Friday, Maryland school officials closed Rockville High School in Montgomery County, Milford Mill Academy in Baltimore County, Folger McKinsey Elementary School in Anne Arundel County and Montpelier Elementary School in Prince George's County.  All of the schools had at least one student with a probable case of swine flu. University Park Elementary School in Hyattsville was shut down Monday after a teacher became a possible case. Vansville Elementary School in Beltsville became the sixth school in Maryland and third in Prince George's County to close due to swine flu.

2 more probables reported at GW

In D.C., the Department of Health advised the George Washington University that two more students are probable swine flu cases, bringing the school's total probables to five.

Four of the students no longer are contagious and have recovered completely while the fifth received treatment and is in recovery.

After the initial flu diagnoses, the school moved the patients to private rooms to limit exposure and informed those in close contact with the patients.

A Howard University student also is listed as a D.C. probable.

Here's how to contact your local flu hotlines:

  • Maryland: 877-MDFLU4U (877-633-5848), open 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.  E-mail questions to
  • Montgomery County: 240-777-4200, 8 a.m.-8 p.m.
  • Virginia: 877-ASK-VDH3 (275-8343), 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
  • The District: 311, if calling from a D.C. number; for those calling from a non-D.C. number, 202-737-4404. 
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