JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri health officials will use the summer to prepare for the swine flu during a flu season that starts Oct. 1.
There have been 50 confirmed cases of swine flu in Missouri and one death linked to the virus. State health director Margaret Donnelly said the department has been trying to limit its spread since April.
The World Health Organization declared Thursday that swine flu is a global pandemic and becoming the dominant flu strain in the southern hemisphere, which currently is going through its flu season.
State health officials expect that will happen in the northern hemisphere, and they will spend the summer figuring out how to handle outbreaks. Donnelly said health officials are learning more about the virus daily.