The H1N1 virus still appears to be on the move in Missouri. The virus, also known as swine flu, has infected about 2,218 people in 43 states.
May 5, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services announced four new cases of confirmed swine flu in Missouri. Another four confirmed cases in the state were announced May 11.
"The Missouri State Public Health Lab was able to confirm the presence of swine flu in the four (May 5) cases after receiving the chemical test for the virus developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention," according to the MDHSS.
These new cases appear to be limited to Platte, Jackson, Howard and St. Charles counties.
The Platte County cases involve two children who attend "the same in-home child care center where three other children are considered probable victims of swine flu. Missouri's first confirmed case of swine flu was the mother of two of those children," according to the MDHSS.
Another case involves a Kansas City boy. How he was exposed to the virus was not immediately available.
The St. Charles County case involves a man in his 20s who may have been infected on a recent trip to South America and Texas. The man also met with three colleagues from Mexico before falling ill.
May 6, Missouri health officials confirmed another case of swine flu in a teenager in St. Louis County. The following day another teenager in the same county was confirmed to have swine flu.
A father and son from Howard County, who were previously listed as probable cases, where confirmed, as well.
The most recent cases involve "an adolescent boy and girl in St. Charles County, an adolescent girl in St. Louis County and a male child in Jackson County," according to MDHSS.
The number of confirmed swine flu cases in Missouri now stands at 14. Four cases are still considered probable.
The swine flu has similar symptoms to the common seasonal flu, such as cough, sore throat, fever, body aches, chills and fatigue.
Missouri health officials said that parents and school officials should not be overly concerned by a few cases of swine flu among school-age children. According to the MDHSS, "Current guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Preventions state that school closure is not advised for a suspected or confirmed case of the new flu virus. Cases of swine flu should be handled the same as for outbreaks of seasonal flu. School closure is advised only if faculty or student absenteeism is so high that it interferes with the school's ability to function."
According to health officials nationwide, the flu seems to be infecting more children and younger adults than the elderly. How this is possible is not known.