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Few swine flu cases in Atmore

By By Adam Prestridge
According to area physicians, the H1N1 virus has been detected in the Atmore area, but there has not been an outbreak of the illness.
ACH Family Physicians’ Jonah McIntyre, M.D. said his office has treated “a few” patients diagnosed with the Type A flu also known as “swine flu.” Although there have been only a handful of cases in Atmore, McIntyre believes more will develop over time.
McIntyre added that a vaccine would help to slow the spread of the virus, adding that simple precautions would aid until the vaccine is available later this year.
Of those patients that have tested positive for the swine flu, McIntyre said most have been children.
Escambia County Schools Superintendent Billy Hines said there have been some students absent with H1N1, but not to the extent of some rumors circulating around the county that hundreds have been sick.
Ricky Elliott, director of the Escambia County Health Department, said the flu season has begun earlier than normal. H1N1 vaccinations are scheduled to begin in late October or November, with schools serving as mass vaccination centers.
The health department will also have vaccinations for the seasonal flu a little earlier than usual, Elliott said.
As for the seasonal flu, McIntyre said the Type B virus has not been detected. He added that to his knowledge there had not been any hospitalization for the H1N1 virus in Atmore.
McIntyre said signs of the flu include, sudden onset of fever, cough, runny nose and aches.
The Center for Disease Control recommends taking these everyday precautions: