The state Health Department announced Tuesday that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed a case of swine flu in Oklahoma, and testing is being done on four other suspected cases. The confirmed case involves a Pontotoc County woman who was not hospitalized and has recovered, state epidemiologist Dr. Kristy Bradley said during a news conference. Ada is the county seat of Pontotoc County. Other states have announced the cities and even school campuses where cases of swine flu were confirmed, but Oklahoma officials said the protocol here is to release only the county. State officials would not release the locations of the four pending "probable” cases that have been sent to the CDC in Atlanta for confirmation. But officials of Deer Creek Public Schools confirmed one of the suspected cases involves a student there. "They were not able to tell us the age, grade level or school,” Deer Creek Superintendent Rebecca Wilkinson said. She said school officials were notified of the possible case, but were not given any details. Deer Creek officials have not closed any schools, but they are monitoring the situation and are waiting on confirmation to make a decision about what happens next. "We have notified all schools to be under precaution for any students or staff members who might be exhibiting flu-like symptoms,” Wilkinson said, adding that the school would understand if some parents feel the need to take their children home. In the confirmed Pontotoc County case, the woman is no longer contagious, Bradley said. She returned from a trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, in late April. People who have been in contact with the woman are being interviewed and will be tested if deemed necessary. The woman is married, and her spouse has not shown any symptoms of swine flu, Bradley said. "This is not a surprising development,” said Rocky McElvany, interim health commissioner. "We expected to find cases of the H1N1 influenza in Oklahoma, and there is no need for alarm.” Bradley said people should continue with their day-to-day activities. "This announcement does not mean Oklahomans should have to change those plans,” she said. Bradley said after testing is completed on the four pending cases, Oklahoma will be able to do its own in-house testing for the virus. Contributing: The Associated Press
Getting help For more information, call the state’s swine flu hot line at (866) 278-7134.
As concern continues over the flu outbreak, health professionals are offering more recommendations and information on how to combat the illness. Updates can be found on knowit.newsok.com/flu