State health officials confirmed the first case of the H1N1 (Swine Flu) virus in Dawson County Wednesday afternoon.
According to Dr. Larry Anderson, chairman of the Dawson County Board of Health, a local student came down with flu-like symptoms over the weekend.
Anderson said the case poses no threat to the community or school system due to the child not being in school at the onset of the symptoms.
"The patient was tested Monday, and by Tuesday, the patient was fever free," Anderson said.
"Predominant symptoms of the flu are sore throat, cough and a temperature over 100 degrees," he added. "If these symptoms occur, do not attend work or school and see your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Do not return to work or school until 24 hours have passed with no fever and no use of fever reducing medications."
Keith Porter, superintendent of Dawson County Schools, says that extra precautions are in place within the school system.
Porter declined to identify which school the student attends.
"We have been in discussions with our custodial staff about ways to thoroughly disinfect our facilities and classroom spaces," Porter said. "We have posted information throughout the schools about procedures to take to reduce the spread of germs, and also our school nurses are visiting classrooms, encouraging students to properly sanitize and stressing the importance of washing their hands."
Anderson noted that he does not expect the confirmed case to cause a pandemic within the community.
"Many doctors have seen several children and adults with influenza- like symptoms. Many people are still testing negative for the H1N1 flu. Just because you have flu-like symptoms does not mean you have the flu," Anderson said.
Billy Thurmond, local director of emergency management, encourages the county to continue to maintain the level of awareness that has been in place for the last few months.
"With just one confirmed case, we will still proceed as normal, but will still be taking precautions regarding the H1N1 flu," Thurmond said. "It is still important to keep working and school places clean, as well as washing your hands."
In order to keep the flu from spreading, Anderson advises to take precautions such as washing you hands with soap and water for 20 seconds throughout the day, using hand sanitizer that has an alcohol base of at least 62 percent, coughing into your sleeve, and not sharing drinking glasses with others.
A complete list of precautions to take regarding the swine flu can be found at www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu.