At our last swine flu update on April 27, the United States had only confirmed 20 cases of H1N1 flu, or swine flu. As of May 3, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) put the total number of cases at 286, not including the related death of a 23-month old in Texas.
The states with the highest number of cases seem to be the most densely populated. New York is on top with 73, and is closely followed by Texas (41) and California (30). Another area with a growing number of cases is the Washington, D.C. metro area, which now has 17 cases of the virus spread across the city and its Maryland and Virginia suburbs, according to BET.com. In that area, a student at the historically Black college, Howard University, is currently under observation regarding the virus.
University president Sidney Ribeau issued this message, which stated "a Howard University student has been classified as a probable case of H1N1 influenza after international travel in April." He continued with, "The student has recovered, but has been isolated while we await results from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)."
Despite that, Howard will remain open for final exams and graduation. There isn’t word on the status of the upcoming summer sessions.
South of the border, officials have lowered the health alert in Mexico City, and are re-opening businesses and tourist attractions, reports The Washington Post.
More cases have also been reported in Europe. The World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland attributes the spread to travel, and is confident that the flu is contained to North America.
To protect yourself from swine flu, follow these simple steps:
-Contain your germs. Be sure to cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Toss the tissue after use.
-Cleanliness is key. Wash your hands often with an antibacterial soap.
-Play hookie. If you experience the flu, don’t go to school or work or anywhere else where you could infect others. Avoid touching your face (that includes your eyes, nose and mouth).
– Whitney Teal