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MetroHealth Prepared if Swine Flu Breaks Locally

Ohio's only known case of swine flu is in Elyria, where a 9-year-old who recently visited Mexico has been diagnosed with the illness. He is NOT currently hospitalized.

But federal officials are releasing extra anti-virus medicines, and among the hospitals set to receive a shipment tuesday, is MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland.

Dr. Peter Wiest is an infectious disease specialist there. He says the staff has been advised of the of the possibility of seeing Swine Flu victims.

DR. PETER WIEST: We've mobilized our Disaster Management Team. We're also ordering more drugs for treament and prophylaxis if we need it, as well as obtaining more masks."

Dr. Wiest sees no need for widespread alarm, but did note that typical warnings about flu strains don't match this outbreak.

DR. PETER WIEST: "In the past it was older individuals and children, but from what we're seeing in Mexico and here in the states it seems like young adults, middle age individual seem to be at a higher risk so far. it's unsure why that is happening - I think we're gonna have to wait and see how this pans out over time."

Dr. Wiest says caution is especially needed with the current flu strain, because victims can transmit the virus for a full day before they become symptompatic.

Rick Jackson is a senior host and producer at Ideastream Public Media. He hosts the "Sound of Ideas" on WKSU and "NewsDepth" on WVIZ.