Mesa County child contracts swine flu

The Mesa County Health Department reported Monday that a 5-year-old child was hospitalized with the H1N1 influenza virus — or swine flu — with little more than a week before school begins for most area children.

The Mesa County child, whose name and condition was not released, has been taken to a Denver hospital.

It is the second confirmed case of H1N1 virus in the county, the Health Department said in a news release.

A child in Montrose County was confirmed to have swine flu last week, according to the Montrose County Health and Human Services.

“We anticipate additional cases when schools reconvene,” said Dr. Michael Aduddell, director of the Mesa County Health Department.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended last spring that schools close their doors for just one case of swine flu, said Kristy Westerman, spokeswomen for the Health Department. Now, schools will not automatically close if one child tests positive for swine flu, she added.

But parents and children are asked to do their part in preventing the spread of swine flu and other like illnesses by practicing good hygiene and staying home from school or work if sick.

Also, people are advised to stay home a full 24 hours after flu-like symptoms have subsided.

An H1N1 vaccine is being tested on humans and is expected to be available to the public in mid-October, Westerman said.

However, the amount that will be given in Mesa County is unknown. People recommended to receive the swine flu vaccine when it becomes available are: pregnant women, children 6 months to 24 years, anyone who lives with or cares for children 6 months or younger, health care professionals and emergency medical staff, and people 25 to 64 with a chronic health condition.


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