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First probable case of swine flu reported in Cass County

FARGO - The first probable case of H1N1 flu in Cass County involved a 30- to 39-year-old woman who is now recovering at home, North Dakota's top disease control official said Monday.

State Epidemiologist Kirby Kruger said the case was reported Friday night.

The patient's specimen will be sent this week to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for confirmation of the H1N1 flu virus, also known as swine flu, Kruger said.

"But 95 percent of these have been confirming out nationwide, so we do believe this is what we're dealing with here," he said.

The woman was not hospitalized, he said.

"She had the typically flulike symptoms, the fever and the cough and that type of thing, which is what we're seeing mostly in North Dakota," he said.

The woman's name and address were not released, and Kruger said the Health Department doesn't disclose which health facilities report H1N1 flu cases.

Health officials were still investigating the extent of the woman's public contact, Kruger said. She had not traveled recently to Mexico, and she likely acquired the infection in her community, which has been the case with most of North Dakota's H1N1 flu cases, he said.

"We do expect that there are probably other cases that are occurring in the Cass County area," he said, reminding residents to stay home if they're ill, wash their hands frequently and cover coughs and sneezes.

North Dakota has tallied 12 confirmed cases of H1N1 flu and six probable cases, according to updated figures from the Department of Health.

Ward County has eight confirmed cases, Burleigh County has three and Morton County has one. None of the cases resulted in death.

As of Monday, Minnesota had 60 confirmed or probable cases of H1N1 flu, while South Dakota had seven cases, according to the CDC. Again, none of the cases resulted in death.

There have been more than 10,000 confirmed or probable cases nationwide, resulting in 17 deaths.