UPDATE: 8-year-old boy first confirmed swine flu case in AZPosted: Updated:
Confirmed in child
CDC: US begins border monitoring for swine flu - Amid surging worries about a global pandemic, the United States launched border screening for swine flu exposure Monday and a top federal health official said people should brace for more severe cases, "and possibly deaths
Information you need
PHOENIX - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed one swine flu case in Arizona.
The Washington School District has confirmed a eight-year-old student in their district is the first reported case of swine flu.
Governor Jan Brewer said the student attends Moon Mountain Elementary and he was treated for the illness and has returned to school.
The Maricopa County Department of Public Health has decided to close Moon Mountain Elementary School for seven days in light of the findings.
"This is the first case of swine flu here in Arizona, but not the last," said Dr. Bob England, director of Maricopa Department of Public Health. "My decision to close the school was made along with the individual's school and school district and we are working together to communicate with parents."
A spokesperson for the school district said they learned of the news around 11:00 a.m. Wednesday morning and were sending a letter home with students.
Rep. Kyrsten Sinema says Arizona Department of Health Services officials made the disclosure during a tour lawmakers took of the state laboratory in Phoenix Wednesday morning.
MCDPH said the swine flu appears no worse than regular, seasonal fly, but in order to understand the new strain the health department is taking aggressive measures.
New cases also turned up in Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada and Indiana.
The total number of cases of swine flu in the United States now stands at nearly 100, and the first death -- a 23-month-old Mexican toddler in Texas -- has been confirmed.
In Mexico the number of suspected deaths from the swine flu has risen to 159 although only 26 of those have been confirmed.
So far there are no confirmed cases of swine flu in Arizona but the state is investigating four people.
With the death toll rising in Mexico and the number of confirmed cases here in the states increasing, the fear surrounding the swine flu has sent people racing to the emergency room.
At the Yuma Regional Medical Center they were swarmed with people who thought they had fallen victim to the swine flu. At one point more than 100 people packed the emergency room.
Kathy Lindstrom, with the John C. Lincoln Hospital, says, "We are seeing some people we call the "walking worried" or the worried well and they come in and they are like, 'Am I really sick am I not sick?" She says you do not need to go running to the ER if you start sneezing or coughing. Lindstrom explains, "if you ever have any of the flu's cause you are going to know you are really sick. It puts you down for at least two weeks. When people talk about ' Oh, I had the flu last night and now I am up walking around' they didn't have the flu."
One patient at a hospital did test positive for influenza and a sample was sent to the Center of Disease Control to determine if it was indeed swine flu. The Arizona Department of Health Services has also sent samples to the CDC and is waiting for those results.
Meanwhile Sheriff Joe Arpaio is taking his own steps to try and fight the outbreak. He says, "If you are willing to check everybody coming across legally why shouldn't we check those coming illegally, who's going to check them." The sheriff is recommending that his officers wear masks and gloves if they are dealing with illegal immigrants. "If they have any concern when they stop a load of people from Mexico, they may have suspicion, how they are acting medical or otherwise. I think they ought to put the mask on." Arpaio also said if anyone shows symptoms of the swine flu in his jail, he will isolate them.
The Arizona Department of Health Services said at a press conference today they are expecting they will see more cases of the swine flu here in our state.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.