Sunday, May 03, 2009

Swine Flu

Craven County H1N1 (Swine Flu) Update 5/1/09

Note that since this report there have been 5 probable cases at Arthur Edwards School in Havelock and the school is closed for 7 days or until further notice by the Craven county Health department. 5/4
We learned today that Craven County has its first suspect case of H1N1. The case is an adult male that returned from Mexico three days ago and began having flu-like symptoms. I have issued the isolation order and our staff is working with the suspect case and his family and any other close contacts. This is much like working an active TB case for our communicable disease staff so they are very adept at handling situations like this. We plan on notifying the media because at this point the word is out and the notification needs to come from the health department rather than some other source. The gentleman’s name will be kept confidential and I can assure you all of the necessary precautions are being taken to protect the public’s health.
The antivirals that we were supposed to receive from the state did not arrive. They will be delayed and we expect them the first of next week. There should be enough antivirals on hand at our local pharmacies to treat several cases without the use of the stockpile antivirals.
What can people do at this point?
There is a great website: http://www.ncpublichealth.com/ , just click on the swine flu information to the right of the screen. It has information for medical personnel and the general public. Initial numbers indicate the swine flu is no more lethal than the seasonal flu, however the data is questionable because it is very new and there are not enough confirmed cases to make a good determination on the virulence of the H1N1 strain.
We anticipate local providers and our staff will be bombarded with calls and anybody exhibiting flu like symptoms. As more cases surface we may need to implement some control measures such as cancelling public gatherings. We are not at that level yet but it is something we should be prepared to do if the situation calls for it. We are reviewing the CDC guidance in regard to this type of control measures.
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