MOUNT VERNON — Knox County remains H1N1 virus, or swine flu free, according to Pam Palm, Knox County Health Department public information officer.
“There have been no additional suspected or probable cases of H1N1 virus in Knox County,” Palm said in an e-mail notification Tuesday afternoon.
Probable cases in Holmes and Portage counties have been confirmed by the Ohio Department of Health.
“Combined with the two cases in Franklin County announced this weekend and the initial case in Lorain County (Elyria), Ohio now has a total of five confirmed cases of the H1N1 virus,” Palm said.
The two latest cases added to Ohio’s list are women who traveled to an area where the virus was present outside of Ohio. Both women, according to Palm, have recovered. No further illnesses have stemmed from the two women.
The number of deaths in the United States from the H1N1 virus has doubled to two this week. A woman living near the Texas-Mexico border died earlier this week. She suffered from chronic health problems that were exacerbated by the virus.
The CDC has changed its protocol for school closures should a student or faculty member come down with the virus. Originally, the CDC suggested schools close from 7 to 10 days. Last week that number was changed to 14 days.
Tuesday, CDC officials announced they were no longer recommending any closures unless a large number of students and faculty contracted the virus.
Palm reminds Knox County residents the guidelines for being tested for H1N1 virus remains the same. Residents must have flu-like symptoms and traveled to Mexico, Texas or Southern California, or come in contact with someone who recently traveled to these locations, or contact with someone who has been confirmed as having H1N1 virus.
The Knox County Health Department can be reached at 392-2200.