Six Probable Swine Flu Cases In Maryland
Governor Martin O'Malley and the Maryland Department of Health and Ment6al Hygiene (DHMH) announced today that six "probable" swine flu cases have been identified in Maryland and sent to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for testing. The samples have been tested by the State Public Health Laboratories at DHMH and have been identified as influenza but require further testing for confirmation by the CDC.
The definition of a "probable" swine flu case is an individual with flu-like symptoms who has a recent history of travel to an area affected by swine flu or contact with another person who has.
“The State of Maryland is doing everything it can at this time to prepare for and respond to any circumstance that arises regarding swine flu," said Governor Martin O’Malley. "Our health officials have trained for this and we have established a command center for exactly this purpose. This is not a time for alarm, but rather heightened awareness and care for our families, ourselves and each other."
Of the six cases, three are from Anne Arundel County. They are members of the same family with no history of foreign travel, although a family member did recently return from an affected area. The other 3 cases are from Baltimore County. They include two members of the same family, one of whom recently returned from travel to an affected area. The third case is a Baltimore County resident who recently traveled out of Maryland to a place that is not considered an affected area.
All patients are recovering from their illness and none have been hospitalized. Due to confidentiality considerations, no further information about the patients will be released.
"This development is what we have expected and prepared for since news of the H1N1 swine flu broke last week," said DHMH Secretary John M. Colmers. "Governor Martin O'Malley asked DHMH to set up our command center on Monday and as a result, we are working together with local health officials and health care providers in every corner of the state to detect and respond rapidly to this serious health care concern."
As with any other seasonal flu, Marylanders should are being advised to exercise precautionary measures to avoid becoming ill or spreading an illness to others.