Probable Swine Flu Cases Swell in Dallas County

Tarrant County also investigates six probable cases

By Frank Heinz
|  Tuesday, Apr 28, 2009  |  Updated 9:14 PM CDT
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Texas now has six confirmed cases of swine flu.

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Some hospitals have been flooded with calls from people who fear they have the swine flu.
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In addition to the three confirmed cases of swine flu in Dallas County, there are now six probable cases as well, health officials said Tuesday.

One of the probable cases, where a lab test shows the subject positive for flu but may not indicate the particular strain, had a connection to Canyon Creek Elementary School -- which has been closed the remainder of the week because of swine flu.  Two other cases mentioned Monday were family members of previously confirmed cases who had begun showing flu symptoms.

Three other probable cases were discovered Tuesday -- all were children whose ages range from 4 to 14, according to Dr. John Carlo, Dallas County Health Department medical director.

In addition to the probable cases, Carlo said that there were a number of cases labeled suspicious -- where someone shows flu symptoms, but has not yet been tested or where test results were inconclusive.

Carlo said there were seven cases in Dallas County where they believed to have found swine flu, only to realize it was seasonal flu after further examination.

This year's seasonal flu has been shown to be Tamiflu-resistant, but the drug can still be used to treat swine flu, according to Carlo.

All of Dallas County's probable cases have been referred to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC lists six cases of laboratory-confirmed cases of swine flu in Texas.

In Tarrant County, health officials are investigating six probable cases of swine flu, five of which were new on Tuesday. None of the cases have been confirmed. Lab results from the CDC in all six cases are pending, health officials said.

According to the CDC, there are everyday actions people can take to stay healthy. 

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hands cleaners are also effective.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Influenza is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected people.
  • If you get sick, CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.

Officials ask anyone with flu symptoms to visit their doctor.

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