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Swine Flu Comes to Maine 

Maine health officials say laboratory tests have confirmed three cases of what is now being called H1N1 which was previously reported as swine flu. All three positive results are from adults in the state. Health officials have not released names or the ages of the patients, but they say two people are from Kennebec County and one person is from York County. Maine CDC Director, Dr. Dora Anne Mills says the three individuals have been isolated from others and are now recovering in their homes.Governor Baldacci, in conjunction with Education Commission Susan A. Gendron, Dr. Dora Anne Mills, director of the Maine CDC and local education officials, announced the closure of Kennebunk Elementary School and the Crayon Academy day care center in Arundel due to two children with suspected H1N1 influenza. Both are in York County.The two children have symptoms consistent with H1N1 and are in household contact with a person identified with H1N1 infection.”This is a serious situation,” Governor Baldacci said. “We are taking these precautions to slow the spread of the flu and to make sure Maine can respond quickly and efficiently.”The news came as President Barack Obama suggested school closings may be necessary in the health emergency, which has claimed its first life in the United States. Maine’s Education Commissioner Susan Gendron has told TV5 News that school superintendents in the state have been put on alert and praised local school officials and the owner of the day care for taking quick action to ensure the safety of students, faculty and staff. She said that there are no other schools that are being considered for closure at this time.According to Gendron, in the event that Maine CDC becomes aware of a confirmed or probable case of swine flu in a public school student, Maine CDC or the Department of Education will contact the superintendent of the school in order to close the school and send students and staff home.Guidelines determine that schools closed because of a swine flu outbreak will be closed for seven calendar days.In addition, Governor Baldacci signed an executive order declaring a Civil Emergency that will allow the State to better respond to the emerging threat posed by H1N1 flu.Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Wednesday the disease has spread to four more states and 91 cases now have been confirmed. To continue to monitor the current numbers click here.For more information or to ask general questions about this disease you can call the State H1N1 Hotline at 1-888-257-0990 between 9am-5pm.FOR MORE H1N1 INFORMATION AND A CHECKLIST FOR PREPARING FOR A PANDEMIC CLICK HERE