Two Confirmed Cases Of Swine Flu in Florida

Gov. Crist says one confirmed case is in Broward and more confirmed cases are expected to come

Gov. Charlie Crist announced the state has its first two confirmed cases of swine flu, including on in Broward County.

The cases involve an 11-year old boy and a 17-year-old girl, he said. The girl attends Hallandale Beach High School health officials said.

That ups the total to 19 states with confirmed cases of the potential deadly disease.

Broward School Board Superintendent Jim Notti announced Hallandale Beach High School wil lbe closed until at least Wednesday and that the entire school will be cleaned and sanitized.

Other suspected cases of swine flu have been sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta for more testing.

Dr. Ana M. Viamonte Ros said today that the cases included three reported Thursday as well as five others. The state could hear back about the cases late in the afternoon or on the weekend.

''We cannot predict the course of this outbreak, how it will affect our state. We do expect to see more cases in the coming days and weeks,'' she said.

Other cases are from Alachua, Orange and Pinellas counties.

The state is working on setting up a hotline where citizens can call for more information as well as distributing masks and antiviral medication.

Meanwhile, in Miami, shoppers are loading up on surgical masks and hand sanitizers to try to avoid the flu, clearing the shelves at pharmacies and drug stores and taking every precaution.

"I wash my hands everytime I go out and come into the house and I do the same thing with my daughter," shopper Javier Dominguez said. "I'm not shaking my hands with strangers and stuff."

And the Archdiocese of Miami has requested local churches take their own precautions. They've told churches to advise parishoners that they'll be receiving communion only, no wine, and that the sign of peace should include no kissing and maybe even no handshake, just a simple nod.

Health officials say prevention and awareness are the keys.

"I think between the hospital hotline and the media, everybody is getting out the information, so people are using common sense as to we know what we have to do," said Claudia Garcia with Miami Children's Hospital.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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