Saturday, May 18, 2013
By DIETER BRADBURY, Staff Writer
Three cases of swine flu have been confirmed in Maine, Gov. John Baldacci said at a press conference today.
The cases, including two in Kennebec County and one in York County, all involve adults who are being treated at home, said Baldacci and Dora Anne Mills, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control.
Mills said the cases were confirmed this morning by testing at the disease control center's lab, and health investigators were still gathering information about the infected people, including their travel history.
The flu originated in Mexico, where authorities had confirmed 26 cases and seven deaths by Tuesday, according to the World Health Organization.
Baldacci said he had ordered an additional 500,000 treatment courses of anti-viral drugs, using $2.175 million in funds from the economic stimulus. Those drugs are in addition to up to 40,000 treatment courses the state will receive soon from the federal government.
Baldacci said he expects more cases to surface in Maine, and he urged residents to take steps to contain the flu by washing hands frequently, shielding coughs or sneezes and staying home if sick.
"It’s important to remember that everyone can make a real difference in helping to slow the spread of the flu," he said.
Mills also urged residents to keep up to date on flu information.
"This is a rapidly evolving situation," she said. "People need to stay informed, and people need to be prepared."
According to the federal Centers for Disease Control, there are now 91 confirmed flu cases in 10 states, not including Maine.