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Three confirmed cases of swine flu statewide

By Staff | May 3, 2009

Florida has three confirmed cases; one in Lee , one in Broward, and one in Orange County.
The Orange County confirmed case is a 14-year-old female visitor who has returned to Mexico.
Alachua, Pinellas, Indian River, Okeechobee, Lee, and Clay have one probable case each. Palm Beach and Miami Dade have two each. Hillsborough County has five probable cases.
A public health emergency was declared by the State Surgeon General.
A toll free information line has been established to address an increasing number of calls from the public requesting Swine Flu information. The number is 1-800-342-3557 and it is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m
Samples are being received by Florida Department of Health Laboratories for analysis from physicians and hospitals across the state.
The Department of Health continues enhanced surveillance and outreach to physicians, hospitals and other health care professionals. The surveillance system, consisting of sentinel physicians reporting influenza activity, DOH laboratories receiving specimens from physicians and hospitals and its ability to monitor emergency room cases and over- the-counter drug sales is fully operational. The Department of Heath has activated its response plan and is ready to respond to any cases of swine flu if it should occur, officials said.
Department of Health continues its enhanced surveillance with a network of Sentinel Physician Providers. These providers send selected samples of laboratory specimens to state laboratories for testing if they have patients with influenza like illness (ILI). These physicians also continue to report weekly ILI cases to the Department of Health.
Anti-virals have been pre-positioned to areas of potential need. The state has more than one half million individual courses.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported 226 confirmed cases of novel influenza in the United States, with one death in a twenty-three month old.
The World Health Organization (WHO) alert level remains at Phase 5. The declaration of a Phase 5 is a strong signal that the pandemic is imminent and that the time to finalize the organization, communication, and implementation of the planned mitigation measures is short.
Participation in Centers for Disease Control and other national conference calls will continue.

The State Surgeon General provided these recommendations:

– People with respiratory illness should stay home from work or school to avoid
spreading infections, including influenza, to others in the community.
– Avoid close contact with people who are coughing or otherwise appear ill.
– Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
– Wash hands frequently to lessen the spread of respiratory illness.
– People experiencing cough, fever and fatigue, possibly along with diarrhea and vomiting, should contact their physician.
If you think you have influenza, please call your health care provider and discuss
whether you need to be seen in their office, emergency department or stay home.

Source: State Department of Health