Two Augusta military cases probable new flu

Two members of the military from Augusta are probable cases of novel influenza virus A H1N1 but it is unclear whether they are in the Augusta area or are currently stationed in Texas, a Georgia health official said Wednesday.

They are among four new probable cases of the new virus; those cases have a more than 95 percent chance of being confirmed.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notified the state of the two cases Wednesday morning, said Dr. Susan Lance, senior director of the office of protection and safety for the Georgia Division of Public Health. Because the military appears to send all of its suspected cases to Texas for testing, it is unclear where the military members might be, Dr. Lance said. Georgia’s first confirmed case was a woman from Kentucky so she is counted by the CDC as a Kentucky case even though she was tested and diagnosed in Georgia, she said.

“Just in that way, these two people are Georgia residents so they are going to be called Georgia cases,” Dr. Lance said. “But it’s unclear exactly where they resided and where they were actually ill.” They are simply listed as Augusta area residents, she said.

The military sends its cases to CDC to notify the states, she said. Dr. Lance believes that both Augusta cases were men but could provide no other details.

The two other probable cases are an 8-year-old Clayton County girl and a 13-year-old boy in Henry County. There are 22 specimens still being processed Wednesday morning. The probable cases are sent to the CDC for confirmation. So far, the state has had four confirmed cases of the novel H1N1.

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