3rd probable swine flu case in Orange County

Posted: Updated:

Health officials say they are waiting for test results from a third probable case of swine flu in Orange County.

Officials say the person in question is a teenage relative of a New York City firefighter who had traveled to Mexico and developed flu-like symptoms. Another probable case is that of a health care worker at the Valley View nursing home. Previously, tests results came back negative for three residents of the Goshen nursing home, who were diagnosed with seasonal flu.

In Rockland County, health officials are still waiting for test results of one suspected case of swine flu after two other suspected cases came back negative.

In the meantime, health officials in Westchester announced Friday the first probable case of swine flu in the county, raising concerns among local residents.

According to officials, the patient is a Rye child who first developed flu-like symptoms last Saturday. The child has not been hospitalized and has been recovering at home.

Reports of the first probable case of the H1N1 virus in the county were followed by an upsurge in visits to emergency rooms across Westchester.

"Since people have become more aware of this through the media, we have seen an influx of patients to our emergency department," says Dr. Paul Antonecchia, of St. John's Riverside Hospital in Yonkers.

Antonecchia says there have been nearly 20 percent more emergency room patients, most wanting to be tested for swine flu. He says patients with mild symptoms do not need to rush to the hospital.

"We're at a point in time in the year where allergies are becoming more prevalent, and people may still be manifesting the traditional flu-like symptoms and the common cold," he says.

The World Health Organization increased its tally of confirmed swine flu cases around the world to 331 Friday from 257 Thursday. In the United States, at least 109 cases of the H1N1 virus have been confirmed so far, including 50 in New York.

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