BATON ROUGE - State officials received official confirmation today from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) that, of the nine cases originally submitted for confirmation, seven have been confirmed for the H1N1 flu (swine flu) virus. Two of the submitted tests are negative.
Five of the cases the CDC confirmed for the H1N1 flu virus are in Lafayette Parish, one is in Ascension Parish and one is in Orleans Parish. All of the seven cases confirmed for the H1N1 virus are being treated on antivirals and are at home. None are in the hospital.
LDH Secretary Alan Levine said, "We have been treating every suspect case as if it could be the H1N1 virus and have acted appropriately to recommend school closures when necessary. The most important thing at this point is to prevent any potential for spreading the virus. LDH has been giving guidance to physicians, parents and school officials to aggressively treat all these cases and prevent the further spread of illness. Our physicians and epidemiologists remain on the ground and in close contact with local officials and medical professionals in these areas."
All five CDC-confirmed cases in Lafayette Parish are students at Cathedral Carmel School, which the state took aggressive preventative action to close Wednesday. Based on evidence collected by LDH's disease surveillance specialists, including a direct link to Mexico, the state worked to close the school before the cases were even tested to help prevent the spread of illness.
The Ascension case is a student at Lake Elementary School and the Orleans case is a student at Audubon Charter School in New Orleans. The Orleans Parish student does have a direct link to Mexico. The case in Ascension Parish has not been linked to Mexico by state epidemiologists investigating the case, at this time. State officials continue to advise that these two schools can remain open, as the students in these schools ha! ve both been absent for a while and no other students are experiencing flu-like symptoms at this time.
State epidemiologists are continuing to work with schools and families in these communities to help prevent the spread of the virus where possible, and guidance may change as appropriate.
The two NEGATIVE test results from the CDC today were for the one case in St. Tammany Parish and one case in St. Martin Parish. Both of these cases were in older individuals, not students, and did not include any direct links to Mexico.
Confirmed Cases for the H1N1 virus in Louisiana
Ascension - 1
Lafayette - 5
Orleans - 1
TOTAL - 7
Negative Cases for H1N1 virus in Louisiana
St. Tammany - 1
St. Martin - 1
TOTAL - 2
Governor Jindal will hold a press conference at 2:30 PM today to give more detailed information on these cases and what other action the state is taking.
Visit www.flula.com for the latest information on the H1N1 virus.