UPDATE: Missouri has second probable case of swine flu

Thursday, April 30, 2009 | 5:19 p.m. CDT; updated 12:03 p.m. CDT, Friday, April 16, 2010

JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri has a second probable case of the swine flu.

Tests show a Missouri resident who visited a health care center in Nebraska probably has the virus, Missouri health director Margaret Donnelly said Thursday. She did not release further details about the person.

But Nebraska health officials said a 19-year-old Missouri man was hospitalized in Douglas County, Neb., with a probable swine flu case after traveling to that state for treatment of another health condition. If his case is confirmed, it would be counted as a Missouri case.

Donnelly also provided more details Thursday to The Associated Press about the state's first probable swine flu victim, who had been announced Wednesday evening. Donnelly said the Platte County resident is an adult who had traveled to Mexico.

Although demographic details have been released in some other states, Donnelly declined to release the Platte County resident's gender or age, citing a federal health care privacy law. She said she did not know when the person traveled to Mexico or returned to Missouri.

The swine flu has been most heavily concentrated in Mexico, where the virus is confirmed or suspected in 168 deaths and more than 2,955 illnesses. In the U.S., there have been 129 confirmed swine flu cases and one death.

Symptoms of the illness include a fever of more than 100 degrees, body aches, coughing, a sore throat, respiratory congestion and, in some cases, vomiting and diarrhea.

Several hundred schools have been closed nationwide because of concerns about spreading the swine flu.

At the Missouri Capitol, Republican Rep. Rob Schaaf wore a mask over his mouth and nose on Thursday during a legislative session. A family physician from St. Joseph, Schaaf told colleagues he was trying to draw attention to the swine flu and suggested school children should stay away from the Capitol.

Hundreds of children visit the Capitol daily during the spring on school field trips. Schaaf said if one sick child came to the Capitol and interacted with students from elsewhere, the swine flu could spread to communities across the state.

"For the next two weeks — which is until the end of session — my advice would be that groups of school children not come to the Capitol because it's asking for trouble," Schaaf said.

Schaaf also instructed colleagues on ways to cough, sneeze and blow their noses to avoid spreading germs. His advice was greeted with groans from some other lawmakers. One shouted for him to sit down.

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