Evanston swine flu cases hit 18

Evanston now has 18 cases of swine flu, the city announced Tuesday evening.

All of the cases have recovered or are on their way to recovering, according to a statement released by the Evanston Department of Health and Human Services at about 5 p.m.

The youngest patient is 2 years old, while the oldest is 55, said Carl Caneva, the department’s acting director, in the release.

Last Thursday, the city reported eight cases of the virus had been confirmed in Evanston by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There were no indications of whether the virus is spreading faster or slower than expected.

Multiple schools in Evanston/Skokie School District 65 are continuing to operate with cases of swine flu. Some are seeing increased overall absences.

City officials are continuing to advise residents to take normal health precautions.

“While the number of citizens infected with this new influenza is less than one quarter of one percent of the overall city population, residents should always be proactive in protecting their health,” Caneva said in the release. “Residents can follow some very basic public health tips to either keep from getting this flu or from spreading it.”

– Brian Rosenthal