(WGN-AM)- Though the seasonal flu period ended last month, the Chicago area has continued to see new cases of swine flu, with two more deaths announced today in suburban Cook County.
The deaths of a 29-year-old woman from Western Springs and a 29-year-old Mount Prospect man, both with underlying heath conditions, brought the total number of swine flu deaths to four in suburban Cook County and 10 in Illinois, health officials said.
While swine flu cases have tapered off nationally, several metropolitan areas such as Chicago keep seeing cases, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Illinois is among 17 states that continue to report new cases.
"Overall the numbers have been declining since the onset, but we do expect to see more cases in Illinois, more hospitalizations and, unfortunately, more deaths," said Kelly Jakubek, spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Public Health.
With seasonal flu ended in May, the CDC said 89 percent of the flu viruses tested across the country are the novel H1N1 strain, or swine flu.
Illinois has recorded 1,984 confirmed and probable cases of swine flu since the epidemic began in the spring, with the highest number--867--in Chicago, the state health department reported.
The virus is spreading primarily among people from the ages of 5 to 24 because they tend to interact more with each other, the CDC said.
"Schools were clearly a site where transmission was occurring, and likewise, over the summer, the summer camps are now affected with flu in campers," said Jernigan.
The CDC recently issued new guidelines for summer camps that include keeping children home for seven days after the onset of the illness or four days after the illness ends. Just as teachers were asked to look for symptoms in the classroom, the CDC recommended that camp staff also identify sick children and send them home.
(The Chicago Tribune contributed to this story)
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