Health & Medicine

New cases of swine flu push state's total to 32

Eight new confirmed swine flu cases pushed the state total to 32 confirmed cases Friday, state health officials said.

Four new cases were confirmed in Jefferson County, two in Madison County and one each in Mercer and Scott counties, according to the state Department for Public Health.

Both of the new Madison County cases are associated with a supported living facility for mentally retarded or developmentally disabled individuals, health authorities said.

That means a total of three people at the facility have now been confirmed to have H1N1 swine flu, and health officials say that up to 20 other residents there have flu-like symptoms. Residents are receiving treatment and are under quarantine.

One of the new Jefferson County cases is a student at Meyzeek Middle School, which had recorded two confirmed cases earlier this week. Jefferson County health officials said the student previously was considered a probable flu case, and that the case has been confirmed by the state laboratory in Frankfort.

State health officials say the spread of cases is reason for concern, but not panic.

Officials say Kentuckians can protect themselves, and help prevent the flu virus from spreading, by washing their hands regularly; covering coughs and sneezes; and staying home if they feel flu-like symptoms.

County breakdowns of swine flu cases in Kentucky are available at http://healthalerts.ky.gov. National information about the flu also is available at http://cdc.gov/H1N1flu.

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