Swine Flu reaches Hattiesburg

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - A seventh case of  H1N1 Swine flu has been reported in south Mississippi, this time at a Hattiesburg school.

Sacred Heart School Principal Brian McCrory said the student was diagnosed with the flu Saturday and is recovering.

McCrory said parents have been notified, and health officials have recommended the school not be closed as only a day-and-a-half of school remain.

The school sent out an automatic message to all of the parents Wednesday morning urging parents to monitor their children as well as themselves.

McCrory says the student is a girl, but would not release any other personal details.

He says the child showed no signs of sickness last week during school but became ill over the weekend.

"She would have been contagious last Thursday and Friday, according to the Health Department," said McCrory. "This child had the symptoms this past Saturday. They went to the doctor, and she's been at home this whole week. Her fever is already down, and they are doing well. She will remain out the rest of this week or the rest of this term."

The term ends this Friday.

District Health Officer, Clay Hammack said H1N1 Swine Flu symptoms are very similar to the seasonal flu.

"We should certainly be concern but not alarmed," said Hammack. "So far, this virus is acting like the usually seasonal flu that we have doing the winter time; the main difference is that it's occurring in a different season."   Hammack says you can lower the risk of being infected by washing hands often, covering your mouth when sneezing and coughing, and staying home if you feel sick.

As for the day to day operations at Sacred Heart, McCrory said things will continue as normal.

The Mississippi State Department of Health has established a hotline at 1-877-222-9358 from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

They can be found online at http://www.msdh.state.ms.us/msdhsite/_static/14,0,334.html