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Published: Saturday, 5/2/2009

6 potential swine flu cases tested in northwest Ohio


The Ohio Department of Health is testing six cases of suspected swine flu in northwest Ohio - including a Lucas County man who visited the California-Mexico border area - but already has ruled out 18 cases in eight local counties, according to statistics released Friday.

Statewide, there has been one confirmed case of swine flu in Lorain County in a recovering 9-year-old Elyria boy, while there are four probable cases elsewhere among people in their 30s who are being tested by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Two of those cases are in Franklin County, with one each in Holmes and Portage counties, according to the state health department.

Although Ohio so far has had mild cases of swine flu, residents still should take precautions, including avoiding areas with swine flu and staying home if sick, and take care of themselves by eating well and getting enough sleep, Dr. Alvin Jackson, director of the Ohio Department of Health, said.

"We want to remind everyone to wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands," Dr. Jackson said during a media briefing Friday. "That simple action - washing your hands - remains critical to slowing the spread of illness in Ohio."

He added, "This currently is mild, but it may not always remain mild."

Dr. David Grossman, Toledo-Lucas County health commissioner, said yesterday that the state has ruled out one suspected Lucas County case of swine flu. The other suspected swine flu sufferer in Lucas County is a middle-aged man who fell ill after his trip to the California-Mexico border area but did not need hospitalization, he said.

"He was in the right area," Dr. Grossman said.

The state department is testing suspected swine flu cases among people who have influenza symptoms including a fever of at least 100.4 degrees, coughing, and sore throat. They also must have been exposed to a confirmed case, such as by traveling to an area with swine flu or direct contact with a patient, in order to be tested for the disease, Bret Atkins, spokesman for the Ohio Department of Health, said.

Sandusky County has two suspected cases, while Wood, Ottawa, and Huron counties also each have one, according to statistics. Local health officials have said it would be several weeks before they determine whether a Wood County woman who has recovered had swine flu.

Last night, Michigan reported a probable case in Hillsdale County.

Contact Julie M. McKinnon at:


or 419-724-6087.

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