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State Response to H1N1 Begins

May 1st, 2009 by Mike Vasilinda

Florida continues to wait for the results of 8 suspected cases of H1N1 Virus or Swine Flu from an overwhelmed Centers for Disease Control. The cases are from across the state and include 2 from Lee County, 2 from Palm Beach County, and one each from Pinellas, Alaucha, Broward, Orange County. As Mike Vasilinda tells us, the state began mobilizing resources today.

The news of Floridas first two confirmed cases of H1N1came just after 3 p.m. Friday.

They are located in Lee and Broward County, Crist said. They involve two students. The one in Lee County is at Spring Creek Elementary, its an 11-year-old male. And in Broward County its a student from Hallendale High School, a 17-year-old female.

At least one child had a history of travel to Mexico.

More than six other suspect samples, including a second Lee County sample are pending analysis.

While we cannot predict the course of this outbreak and how it will affect the state, we do expect to see more cases over the coming days and weeks, Viamonte Ros said.

Earlier in the day the state began sending resources including protective masks into the field. The states Surgeon General says the masks are only for health care providers right now.

Were not suggesting anyone purchase masks at this time, Viamonte Ros said. The masks are there mostly for individuals that are first responders.

The state is also pushing out half a million doses of anti-viral medication. Theyll go to first responders, EMTs, doctors and hospitals.

The state also went live with an 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. hotline to answer citizens questions.

Those with symptoms are being urged to stay home. Everyone else is being urged to wash their hands frequently.

The hotline number is 1-800-342-3557.

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