Probable swine flu in county

First case has “most likely” arrived, county reports

The swine flu has been renamed the Novel H1N1 influenza virus, perhaps because pigs were being unfairly blamed for it (and, in Egypt, killed off), and now it apparently has arrived in Butte County.

The Public Health Department announced Tuesday (May 19) that a local resident “in all likelihood” has come down with the bug, though testing is not yet complete. The victim is a man who was seen in the emergency room with fever, cough and a sore throat. His symptoms improved quickly and he is now fully recovered.

It was “only a matter of time” before the Novel H1N1 virus reached us, said Dr. Mark Lundberg, the county’s health officer, in a press release. “It is likely that we have had other cases that have not been detected.”

If confirmed, the cases will be typical of the milder symptoms generally seen with this infection, Lundberg said. As of Tuesday (May 19), 5,469 Americans had been diagnosed with the flu, 553 of them in California.