Gulfport Urgicare tests woman for Swine Flu; Still no Mississippi cases

By Elise Roberts - bio | email

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - Just one week after the first known case, there are now more than 200 confirmed U.S. cases of the swine flu. Sunday, the Centers for Disease Control sent more supplies to all 50 states to help respond to the outbreak.

While there are no confirmed cases in Mississippi, the outbreak still has many people in a panic. Medical officials in Gulfport say there are things people can look for.

"Temperature greater than 100, cough, sore throat, bronchial infection, chills, body ache, headache," said Michelle Davis, a medical assistant with Gulfport UrgiCare.

The symptoms for the swine flu virus are very similar to that of the A and B strain of the influenza virus; however, there is one thing that's raising a red flag with health officials.

"If they've been in an affected area or have traveled outside of the country in Mexico within the last seven days," Davis said.

Saturday, Gulfport Urgicare technicians tested a South Mississippi woman for swine flu.

"We had a Jane Doe female come in," said Joseph Garcia, office director with UrgiCare. "She was experiencing flu-like symptoms with a temperature of greater than a 100. She had some throat and some upper respiratory problems. But the main reason it popped out for us is that she had recently traveled to Mexico. She just came back from a cruise. We immediately passed out face masks, immediately activated the Mississippi State Department of Health protocol."

In the past week, the clinic has tested two other patients for swine flu. The results from the Mississippi State Department of Health report negative results for the swine flu virus. Now, state health officials are investigating the latest claim.

"If it is confirmed, it will be the first confirmed case in the state of Mississippi," said Garcia.

Health officials say there are some simple steps everyone can take to keep bacteria from spreading.

"The main and most important thing to do is to wash your hands and to keep your hands away from your face, nose and mouth," said Davis. "That's how you spread germs into your body."

The number of swine flu cases in the US has spiked to more than 240 cases in 34 states. At last report on Saturday, there were 160 cases in 21 states.

Officials with the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention say there was no sudden onslaught of newly confirmed cases, but lab tests were backlogged and the results from those tests began trickling in over the weekend.

Here's a breakdown of cases around the South:

  • Texas has the most cases with 43.
  • Louisiana has seven confirmed cases.
  • Florida has three.
  • Alabama and Tennessee each have one case.

Again, Mississippi has no confirmed cases of the swine flu at this time.

©2009 WLOX. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.