Little Boy at Center of Swine Flu Outbreak: "I Feel Good" - NBC 10 Philadelphia

Little Boy at Center of Swine Flu Outbreak: "I Feel Good"

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    Little Boy at Center of Swine Flu Outbreak: "I Feel Good"
    The five-year old boy who likes to give hugs, climb trees and draw hearts in the sand outside his home in the small Mexican village of La Gloria is the earliest known case of the pandemic that has jumped borders and caused worldwide panic.

    The little boy at the heart of the swine flu outbreak is a bubbly toddler who said he's no longer feeling ill.

    "Not anymore," young Edgar Enrique Hernandeztold the Washington Post. "I feel good."

    The five-year old boy who likes to give hugs, climb trees and draw hearts in the sand outside his home in the small Mexican village of La Gloria is the earliest known case of the pandemic that has jumped borders and caused worldwide panic -- but these days he is suffering only from a nagging cough and slight fatigue, he told the Post reported.

    Edgar, who credits ice cream for making him feel better, tested positive for the deadly strain of swine flu after he and several hundred others in the village of 2,500 fell sick in late March with an unexplained respiratory illness that killed two children and forced health officials to fumigate the hamlet, the Post reported.

    "I don't have words, I don't have answers," said Edgar's mother, Maria el Carmen Hernandez, as she wept. "I feel terrible about all this, because the people are thinking that this was all my son's fault. I don't think this is anyone's fault."

    Edgar's mother took the little boy to the village health clinic when he first began showing signs of illness, and he was treated with amoxicillin and other medications. The boy spent four days bedridden and then recovered, the Post reported.

    Edgar's 3-year-old brother, Jonathan, was also sick but not as seriously.

    "I feel powerless," Hernandez said. "Why did the other children not have it and my child did? He was one of the last to get sick."

    "My children have always been healthy. My children are a blessing, they are a blessing form God," she said.

    None of Edgar's relatives work at the nearby industrial hog farms but residents of La Gloria have long complained about the stench from manure pits the swarms of flies -- though officials have not confirmed that swine flu originated in the tiny town.

    The industrial pig farms that surround the valley hamlet are partially run by Virginia-based Smithfield Foods, the largest producer of hogs in the U.S. and the company said Monday it found "no clinical signs of symptoms of swine influenza" in employees or the herd, the Post reported.

    The head of Mexico's National Center for Epidemiology and Disease Control, Miguel Angel Lezana, said Edgar was a late case in the flu outbreak and that the boy first showed symptoms on April 1 -- several days after two in California complained of flu-like conditions.

    "We don't know where it started, California or Mexico," Lezana told the Post.

    A doctor at the local clinic, Vianney Guerra, told the Post she was not authorized to talk about the outbreak but is administering vaccines to the townspeople.

    "We are taking preventive measures, we are informing the population, we are going t house to house giving vaccines," she said. "Edgar is fine. He's in his house."