North Dakota now has a dozen swine flu casesThe number of swine flu cases in North Dakota has climbed to a dozen confirmed and six others probable.
BISMARCK (AP) — The number of swine flu cases in North Dakota has climbed to a dozen confirmed and six others probable.
Half the total cases are in Ward County but no one with swine flu is reported hospitalized. State health officials no longer are requiring routine lab tests in the county, saying they know the flu is there.
“We just want to look at the more severe cases,” state epidemiologist Kirby Kruger said Monday. Tests will be done in Ward County only on suspected cases that are hospitalized, the Health Department said.
Kruger said the higher number of cases in Ward County could be due to more contact among people who have the flu, to more testing by health care providers or to more people seeking care.
Cass County reported its first probable case, involving a woman who is recovering at home. Kruger said there is no indication she got swine flu “anywhere else but in the community.”
The regular flu season ends in May. The state Health Department reports 1,556 confirmed cases for the season just ended.
The health department’s influenza surveillance coordinator, Michelle Feist, called it “pretty typical, nothing unexpected.”
The total number of cases compares with more than 3,800 cases during the last flu season.
The state reported 496 confirmed flu-related deaths last year. This season’s total is not yet known.
Burleigh County reported the most seasonal flu cases with 339 followed by Cass County with 208 and Morton County with 106. Thirty-two people were hospitalized.