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11:04 am
Mon May 4, 2009

Monroe County Swine Flu Case Confirmed

Rochester, NY – There are now 90 confirmed cases of the new H1N1 swine flu in New York State - and one of them is in Monroe County.

Governor David Paterson says 17 suspected cases of the new strain have been confirmed, and state health officials say there are probably many more in people who haven't been tested.

Monroe County Health Director Andrew Doniger says it took five days to confirm the county's first case because of a backup in the testing labs.

"This case has moved from the category of a probable case to a confirmed case and this test was done at the state health department. Our New York State Health Department has now been authorized by the Centers for Disease Control to perform the confirmatory testing on these cases."

There are now 14 suspected cases in Monroe County, down from 17 last week, but Dr. Doniger says he expects the H1N1 flu will spread locally because it's spreading world-wide.

All the suspected cases are doing well and have mild symptoms.

The Monroe County woman who came back from Mexico with the infection actually got over it before her diagnosis was confirmed. Dr. Doniger says she wasn't infectious yet when she was on the plane back to Rochester, and she went to bed immediately on feeling ill. There's only one other person in her household, and that person didn't get sick. Dr. Doniger says that was a lucky break for the community.

As the state health departments take over testing for the Centers for Disease Control labs, Dr. Doniger says confirming cases of the new influenza is now going faster.

Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks says all local government and school district leaders have met and made plans in case they have to start taking more serious steps to keep the virus from spreading. But she says "we're not there yet."

Meanwhile, Seneca County reported its first suspected case of swine flu on Monday. And Wayne County reported the first local case of suspected flu for which a patient had to be hospitalized. That person had not traveled to any areas known to have the new swine flu.

Officials continue to watch closely for signs that the flu is spreading from person-to-person.

In another development, students of the New York City prep school that became one of the first outbreaks of H1N1 swine flu went back to their classes today.