Wednesday, April 29, 2009
SAN DIEGO Three more people in San Diego County have tested positive for swine flu, bringing the total number of local cases to eight, the county Health and Human Services Agency announced today.
Details about the most recent cases of swine flu in San Diego were expected to be released by county health officials at a late afternoon news conference.
Meanwhile, classes continued as usual today at San Diego State University, despite a suspected but unconfirmed case of swine flu on the campus.
"A confirmed case may change the ballgame," said Dr. Gregg Lichtenstein, medical director for SDSU's Student Health Services.
A female SDSU student who lives off campus tested positive for Type A influenza Tuesday after falling ill and being checked at Student Health Services, university officials said. Additional tests are pending to determine if the student has contracted swine flu, according to Lichtenstein.
SDSU President Stephen Weber said e-mails were sent to all students and staff notifying them about the possible swine flu case on campus and how to protect themselves.
"The health and safety of our students is our primary concern," Weber said.
The sick student's condition was not considered life-threatening and she will not return to classes until she is no longer considered infectious, university officials said.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed that a Marine at a San Bernardino County base where Camp Pendleton-based Marines routinely train has swine flu.
The infected Marine at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms will remain isolated in his barracks, military officials said. Thirty other Marines he had been in contact with are also quarantined for five days as a precaution. None of the other Marines displayed any symptoms of swine flu, according to the Marine Corps.
Twentynine Palms is in San Bernardino County about 150 miles northeast of San Diego County, but troops from Camp Pendleton in Oceanside frequently go there for training.
In Mira Mesa, Christ the Cornerstone Academy reopened today after testing determined that teachers at the private school were not infected with swine flu.
A 7-year-old who attends the school is one of the five people confirmed to have swine flu in San Diego County.
Public health officials said Tuesday there are two other suspected cases in San Diego, in addition to the SDSU student. The other two cases were relatives of the 7-year-old. It was not immediately clear if those two -- or the SDSU student -- were among the new cases confirmed today.
The previous five people who were infected have all recovered and did not require hospitalization, according to Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county's public health officer.
As of this morning, there were 91 confirmed cases of swine flu in the United States, according to the CDC. The nation's first swine-flu death -- a 23- month-old girl from Mexico -- was reported in Texas this morning.
The recent outbreak of swine flu around the globe is most prevalent in Mexico, where about 2,500 people have developed influenza and 159 people are believed to have died from the virus.
As a result of the outbreak, 10 cruise ships have announced plans this week to berth in San Diego instead of Mexico, according to the Port of San Diego.
On Monday, the Mexican government closed all schools until May 6 to prevent further spread of the flu. Although no San Diego Unified School District campuses have been affected so far, Superintendent Terry Grier said steps are being taken, including the distribution of information about the disease to parents in both English and Spanish.
"I think the most important thing we can do is be proactive and focus on prevention," Grier said.