The three new identified cases of swine flu are school-age children, county public health director Dr. Bob England said during a press conference Thursday.
It has led to the closing of one more school for seven days, but at this time, England did not identify the school nor the part of Maricopa County where the school is located.
All three of the new cases of swine flu are Maricopa County, bringing the total of confirmed cases in Arizona to four.
Details of the victims were not immediately available. Two of the four patients have already recovered, a third is recovering and information about the fourth child is still being investigated.
“It isn’t going to stop there,” with the now four identified cases in Arizona, England said. “We have lots of testing in the works.”
England stressed to the public and the media that the swine flu appears so far to be mild illness for most patients, with typical flulike symptoms of fever, body aches and sore throat.
On Wednesday, officials said the first case was that of an 8-year-old boy from northeast Phoenix. Although he never required hospitalization and has recovered, officials took the precaution of closing his school, Moon Mountain Elementary, for a week.
Also Thursday, Maricopa Medical Center, Arizona’s only public hospital, announced it will be restricting visitors until the outbreak subsides. Patients now can receive only two adult visitors; children under 12 are not permitted.
County public health director Dr. Bob England has said he expects more cases to emerge. Currently, the state is waiting to hear from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about test results of 40 others samples taken from Arizonans suspected of coming down with the flu.
Nationally, the CDC has confirmed 109 cases in 11 states. The only reported death is that of a Mexican toddler whose family brought him to Texas for treatment.
According to the World Health Organization, 11 countries have officially reported 257 cases. Mexico, where the outbreak seems to have started, has reported 97 confirmed human cases, including seven deaths.
Swine flu, officially known as H1N1 infection, produces symptoms similar to other strains of influenza: high fevers, runny nose, body aches and exhaustion. Some people also will suffer from nausea and diarrhea.