Second suspected H1N1 hits county

Published 9:50 pm Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Troy Regional Medical Center officials have confirmed a second likely case of H1N1 flu in Pike County.

Chief of Nursing Jennifer Ventress said the hospital treated a suspected case of H1N1 flu Tuesday morning, and tests have been sent to the state health department for confirmation.

Ventress said the patient is a 23-year-old female, but she could not say whether there was a connection to the probable case of H1N1 in a Troy University student that was announced Monday.

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The second patient has been released from TRMC and is recovering at home.

Ventress said the case tested positive at the hospital for influenza type A, which has a 95-percent chance of being the H1N1 virus.

This is the first suspected case to come from the hospital.

At this time, Ventress said she is unsure how likely it is the patient could have spread the virus further.

“I don’t have any idea what kind of exposure this person had,” Ventress said.

But, Ventress did say she does not believe the patient is someone who has traveled outside the United States.

With two likely cases now in Pike County, Ventress said residents should be cautious.

“I think (we should be) concerned but not panic,” Ventress said. “Pay attention and wash your hands. The virus is going to be out there.”

Ventress said what is most important about the virus is that residents experiencing symptoms should be careful not to infect anyone else.

“If you’re sick, stay at home and don’t spread it to other people,” Ventress said. “It’s the only way we can control a virus like this.”

Troy University’s Dean of Student Services Herb Reeves said the school is still unaware of who the student with a probable H1N1 case is, but for now, the university is still under the same operations.

“There’s nothing different we can do at this particular time other than make people aware of it,” Reeves said.

Ventress said the main concern, once this H1N1 virus passes, is what other types of flu strands could develop.

“When we get out of this flu season and this particular strand disappears through the summer, what strand are we going to be dealing with next fall?” Ventress said.