Massachusetts officials have confirmed 28 new cases of the H1N1 virus, or swine flu, bringing the statewide total to 34.
All of the cases were mild, state officials said. Only one of the new cases required hospitalization and that person has since been discharged. More than half of those infected have been children.
The rise in confirmed cases is because testing of local cases is now being done at a state lab in Jamaica Plain instead of the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta.
Gov. Deval Patrick said anti-virals are being distributed to hospitals in the state and that, while there is cause for concern, there is no cause for panic.
Secretary of Health and Human Services Dr. JudyAnn Bigby said the cases are spread across the state, including the first two confirmed cases in western Massachusetts – a 19-year-old and a 20-year-old from Hampshire County.
“Some had known contact with a previously confirmed case,” she said. “None of the new cases traveled to Mexico, although some may have traveled to parts of the United States where we knew there were cases.”
Some of the cases are from the Harvard School of Dental Medicine, which has temporarily closed.
No public schools in Massachusetts have closed.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.