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Marine sick with swine flu; 39 confined

April 29, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
A Marine at a San Bernardino County base is sick with the swine flu, the Pentagon confirmed Wednesday. All 39 troops at Twentynine Palms base are confined.The ill Marine suffered from vomiting and other flu-like symptoms, Gen. James Conway said at a Pentagon briefing.

Conway said the Marine was doing fine. "He's up and about, he says he feels pretty good."

The Marine reported feeling sick on Saturday, but it's not clear how the Marine got sick. He has not been to Mexico.

The Marine and his roommate are currently under quarantine.

There are reports of a few campuses in L.A. County that may have swine flu on campus, including two schools in the Newhall area and one in the San Pedro area.

The Cal State Long Beach Web site says the school might have a case. One student is being tested, but it will be about 48 hours before they know if swine flu is present.

There are 15 reported cases across the state of California, with three cases in Sacramento County, three cases in Marin County and five cases each in San Diego and Imperial counties.

L.A. County Health officials are also investigating two probable cases of swine flu and two possible cases of swine flu. In all four cases, the victims traveled to Mexico recently.

The two probable cases include an 11-year-old and a 52-year-old, and the possible cases include a 69-year-old and a 60-year-old. Results from testing are expected within four days.

Officials are looking a flu-like symptom cases in the Santa Clarita Valley, but they said results from tests won't come back for several days.

"It's a new virus that we haven't seen before," said Dr. Jonathan Fielding, L.A. County Public Health director, during a Wednesday news conference.

"It has caused outbreaks in communities, which is why we're seeing it both in the United States and elsewhere," he said.

Fielding said in the U.S., symptoms of the swine flu are very similar to symptoms of a regular flu, which is making it hard for officials to determine what they're dealing with.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a state of emergency on Tuesday, and state officials are working closely with federal officials across the state of California.

Experts are warning the public to take the flu swine seriously.

"This clearly is an infectious agent that has spread from one country to several," said Dr. Jim Howatt from Molina Healthcare.

Early detection is very important. In Riverside County, health officials investigated 10 possible cases of swine flu, which all came back negative. Test results of a student at Our Lady of the Assumption School and her mother also returned negative.

The Department of Health said the best thing you can do is to just be proactive. Wash your hands frequently, especially before touching your eyes, nose or mouth. If you feel sick, stay home. Tamiflu can help with symptoms, but there is no vaccine for swine flu.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.


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