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Second Henry swine flu case confirmed

By Johnny Jackson

jjackson@henryherald.com

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed a second case of the novel Type-A H1N1 influenza virus in Henry County, according to state health officials.

The Georgia Division of Public Health said the latest confirmed case of the virus, the so-called swine flu, exists in a 13-year-old Henry County boy. The case is the fourth confirmed in a Georgia resident in recent days.

State health officials said Friday there are now a total of eight probable cases in Georgia. Six of those are reported in Henry County, in males ranging in age from 6 to 44.

A probable case reported earlier this week in an 8-year-old Clayton County girl has yet to be confirmed, officials said.

Health officials would not say if the latest confirmed case, or new probable ones, had any associations with a case of H1N1 confirmed Monday in a 14-year-old Henry County boy attending Eagle's Landing Christian Academy in McDonough.

The CDC initially recommended the private school temporarily close its doors in an effort to prevent spreading the virus.

However, health officials said H1N1 cases in the state, and nationwide, have been milder than once thought, which prompted the CDC to alter its recommendations for schools. Eagle's Landing Christian Academy, as a result, re-opened on Thursday.

Henry County has the highest number of confirmed, and probable, H1N1 cases among counties in the state with two confirmed and six probable cases, so far. Earlier this week, health officials confirmed the virus in a 3-year-old Cherokee County boy, and a 36-year-old DeKalb woman.

"One of the reasons the county has been hit so hard is because there was a confirmed case there, and a lot of people are requesting to be tested," said Susan Lance, senior director in the Office of Protection and Safety.

Lance said further H1N1 confirmation testing will be limited to cases of special consideration or cases in which residents have been hospitalized.