Woman in Tracy, child in Visalia may have swine flu

Stanislaus County officials say they are monitoring for the swine flu virus. Twenty-four specimens taken from county residents with flu-like symptoms have been sent for lab analysis and there no confirmed cases in this county, said Hugo Patino, a Modesto fire battalion chief serving as a spokesman in the county emergency operations center.

The first probable case of swine flu in the San Joaquin Valley has been identified as a child from the Visalia area, a Tulare County health official said Tuesday.

Allison Lambert, spokeswoman for Tulare County's Health and Human Services Agency, said no details were available, but county health officials completed their tests Tuesday afternoon.

"Those tests showed this as a probable case of swine flu, and we've sent our results to the state for confirmation," Lambert said.

Confirmation from state health officials should come late this week, Lambert said.

Meanwhile, the Tracy Press reports that San Joaquin County public health officials are testing a 31-year-old Tracy woman to see if she has swine flu. If confirmed, it would be the county’s first reported case of the flu, which has killed and sickened hundreds in Mexico since Sunday. The sample is still being tested by the county’s Public Health health department.

The Geneva-based World Health Organization today raised its alert level for the fast-spreading swine flu to its next-to-highest notch, signaling a global pandemic could be imminent.

Related stories from Modesto Bee