Sunday, May 3, 2009

US public health emergency on Sunday, April 26...

Two cases of flu in FloridaNo confirmation on sample from Pinellas
Article published on Saturday, May 2, 2009
PINELLAS COUNTY - The outbreak of H1N1 (swine) flu continues to spread. On Saturday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 160 cases in 21 states, including two in Florida.The World Health Organization reported 615 cases in 15 countries.Gov. Charlie Crist announced on Friday that the CDC had confirmed two cases of the flu in Florida.The first case is an 11-year-old male in Lee County. The boy attends Spring Creek Elementary School. The Second case is a 17-year-old female in Broward County. She is a student at Hallandale High School.According to a media report on Saturday, May 2, “Orange, Alachua, Pinellas, Palm Beach, Indian River, Miami Dade, Okeechobee (counties) have probable cases, which are awaiting Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) laboratory confirmation.”The Pinellas County Department of Health said the one sample from Pinellas sent to the CDC was from an adult male with recent travel to Mexico.County officials said the person did not require hospitalization and is resting at home. “The person’s contacts have been notified about this case,” a press release said. “Due to HIPAA privacy regulations, patient ID is not being released.”Florida’s Surgeon General Dr. Ana Viamonte Ros declared a public health emergency Friday afternoon. A toll free information line was opened to address an increasing number of calls from the public requesting H1N1 flu information. The number is 1-800-342-3557. The phone line is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.Latest from CDCThe United States declared a public health emergency on Sunday, April 26, as the number of confirmed human swine flu cases grew to 20.The CDC report on Saturday, May 2, said 161 cases of the flu had been confirmed in 21 states. One death was reported in Texas.Four cases were reported in Arizona, 24 in California, two in Colorado, one in Connecticut, four in Delaware, two in Florida, three in Illinois, three in Indiana, two in Kansas, one in Kentucky (being treated in Georgia), eight in Massachusetts, two in Michigan, one in Minnesota, one in Missouri, one in Nevada, seven in New Jersey, 50 in New York, one in Ohio, 13 in South Carolina, 28 in Texas and one in Virginia.Latest from WHOThe WHO report on Saturday, May 2, said 615 cases were reported in 15 countries. The largest number was in Mexico with 397 confirmed cases and 16 deaths. The United States reported the second largest number.One case has been reported in Austria, 34 in Canada, one in China (Hong Kong), one in Denmark, one in France, four in Germany, two in Israel, one in the Netherlands, four in New Zealand, one in the Republic of Korea, 13 in Spain, one in Switzerland and 13 in the United Kingdom.Dr. Margaret Chan, World Health Organization director-general, raised the level of influenza pandemic alert from phase 4 to 5 on April 29. She said all countries should immediately activate their pandemic preparedness plans.What officials are doingJeannie Mallory, public information officer with the Pinellas County Health Department, said local officials are keeping a close eye on the situation. “We have activated our plans and are monitoring to see what happens in the U.S., Florida and our own community,” Mallory said. “We have prepared and practiced for this exact scenario and are confident in our ability to do everything we can to keep Pinellas County safe.”The DOH said it was continuing its 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,” officials said in a press release. “We have activated our response plan and are ready to respond to any cases of swine flu if it should occur.”Florida is coordinating the receipt of anti viral medications from federal authorities, FDOH said. “We have one half million individual courses of anti-virals prepositioned at strategic locations,” officials said.
Article published on Saturday, May 2, 2009
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