Local, state and federal health officials are remaining cautiously optimistic that the H1N1 virus won't be as bad as feared.
In Kansas Monday, the number of probable cases climbed to six. On top of two cases in Johnson County, state health officials said tests show a child in Wyandotte County has the virus. The CDC must still verify it. The child had not been to Mexico or in contact with any suspected population.
Nationally, the number of confirmed cases is nearing 300 in 36 states. Homeland Security officials say new data shows the virus may not be as severe as first thought, but they won't let down their guard.
"We are preparing fully," said Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. "We also have in mind that H1N1 flu could die down soon and return later again this fall when the flu season enters back in full swing."
Napolitano says officials now believe H1N1 may be no more serious than other strains of influenza. However, she cautions those strains also cause thousands of deaths each year.
Shawnee County Health Agency director Anne Freeze told county commissioners Monday that her agency met with schools in the area last week to discuss precautions. They plan to meet with summer day camp providers next week on the issue. They also continue planning with local hospitals and clinics about housing a shipment of antiviral medications requested for the county.
The Shawnee County Health Agency recommends family's prepare by having a kit with items like non-perishable food, water and medicine. They also recommend discussing child care coverage if the virus closes your school or day care.
The county also has a new email address to take your questions. It is firstname.lastname@example.org.