The Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) reports 22 new cases of H1N1 swine flu for last week, bringing the state's total number of cases to 105. The new cases last week were in Lamar (6), Rankin (4), Covington (2), Madison (2), Chickasaw (1), Forrest (1), Harrison (1), Jackson (1), Lafayette (1), Monroe (1), Warren (1) and Winston (1) counties.
Since MSDH began testing for H1N1 swine flu, cases have been reported in Harrison (23), Jackson (16), Forrest (11), Lamar (10), Rankin (9), Madison (7), Hinds (6), Holmes (3), Covington (2), Greene (2), Jones (2), Lowndes (2), Yazoo (2), Lauderdale (2), Chickasaw (1), DeSoto (1), Lafayette (1), Monroe (1), Perry (1), Union (1), Warren (1) and Winston (1) counties. These numbers include last week's newly reported cases. County numbers may have slightly changed from previous weeks after case investigation and follow-up.
According to State Epidemiologist Dr. Mary Currier, H1N1 swine flu responds well to traditional anti-viral medications. The very young, the elderly, pregnant women and the chronically ill may be at higher risk for complications.
Prevention is the best method of protection, and Mississippians are encouraged to take the following precautions to reduce the risk of contracting H1N1 swine flu and other flu-like illnesses: wash your hands frequently or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, cough or sneeze into your sleeve, or cough into a tissue followed by hand-washing, and avoid close contact with those who are sick. If you are ill, stay home until you are well, unless you need to see a doctor, in which case call first to prevent possible transmission in the doctor's waiting area.
For more information on H1N1 swine flu call the toll-free MSDH flu hotline at 1-877-222-9FLU. The hotline hours are 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, except state holidays. To receive updates on Twitter, visit the MSDH H1N1 swine flu page to sign up as a follower.