Associated Press - April 27, 2009 6:14 PM ET
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - People across Illinois are on the lookout for the first case of swine flu.
The virus ripping through Mexico is similar to the common flu, but with harsher symptoms that can be fatal.
Public health officials say it's only a matter of time before cases of swine flu emerge in Illinois. Officials say they're focusing on special populations, such as children, seniors and immigrants.
Hospitals are taking extra steps to prevent the contamination and to watch people with possible flu symptoms. Schools are doing the same and also urging parents to keep sick children at home.
Illinois Public Health Director Damon Arnold says the state will receive additional anti-flu drugs from federal stockpiles this week.
Officials say people should use commonsense hygiene practices to avoid the virus, such as frequently washing hands and covering their mouths when coughing.