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23 confirmed cases of swine flu statewide

By Staff | May 8, 2009

There are now 23 cases of swine flu confirmed in Florida, three of them in Lee County, which also has two probable cases awaiting testing.
The state has confirmed cases in the following counties: one in Alachua, Clay, Indian River, Okechobee, Orange, Seminole, and Pinellas; two in Dade, three in Lee , five in Broward, and six in Hillsborough.
The increase in confirmed cases is primarily due to the cleaning of a CDC testing backlog of samples from probable cases previously submitted.
New confirmed cases are:
Hillsborough: an 18-year-old man, a 21-year-old man, a 22-year-old man, a 19-year-old woman, a 12-year-old boy, and a 24-year-old woman; Clay: a 15-year-old girl; Okeechobee: a 27-year-old woman; Indian River: a 15-year-old boy; Alachua: a 19-year-old woman; Seminole: an 18-year-old man; Pinellas: a 25-year-old man; Dade: a 13-year-old girl; a 47-year-old man; Broward: an 11-year-old girl, a 22-year-old woman, a 3-year-old girl and a 26 year-old woman.
The Department of health has 18 probables in the following counties: Manatee, Okaloosa, Palm Beach, Lake, Duval, Collier, Pinellas, and Marion have one probable case each; Lee and Sarasota have two and Broward and Dade have three.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported 896 confirmed cases of novel influenza in the United States with two deaths.
CDC no longer recommends that communities with a laboratory confirmed case of influenza A H1N1 consider adopting school dismissal or childcare closure measures.
A public health emergency declared by the State Surgeon General remains in effect.
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 continue to be received by Florida Department of Health Laboratories for analysis from physicians and hospitals across the state. All four Department of Health laboratories have received testing supplies from the Centers for Disease Control and now can test samples to confirm H1N1 Swine Flu. This testing capability allows the Department to expedite results and the state no longer need to send probable cases to CDC laboratories.
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 our ability to monitor emergency room cases and over- the-counter drug sales is fully operational. The DOH has activated its response plan and is ready to respond to any cases of swine flu if it should occur.
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. DOH has more than half a million individual courses.
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: Department of Health