Monday, April 27, 2009 - 10:38am
Public Health Reports on Local Conditions
PUBLIC HEALTH MADISON & DANE COUNTY
Madison WI - April 27, 2009 - Public Health - Public Health - Madison & Dane County (PHMDC) is monitoring the rapidly evolving swine flu outbreak, maintaining close communication with the CDC, Wisconsin Department of Health Services, local health systems, as well as city and county government. Updated information will be made available daily on the PHMDC web site. (www.publichealthmdc.com)
The new strain of influenza virus appears to be spreading rapidly through the United States. However, all 40 cases confirmed so far have recovered. There have been no deaths and only one hospitalization, indicating relatively mild illness. "People should continue to go about their daily activities, go to work, go to school. The best ways to prevent the spread of influenza and other diseases are what we should be doing everyday - wash hands often, cover coughs and sneezes, and stay home when sick," said Dr. Thomas Schlenker, Director of Public Health Madison and Dane County.
PHMDC is in contact with state health officials, Dane County Emergency Management, and local elected officials on a regular basis regarding the situation in Wisconsin and Dane County. According to County Executive Kathleen Falk, "The mayor and I are working with the public health director to make sure our citizens are informed and know what steps they can take to stay healthy."
PHMDC also contacted all local Emergency Departments and Urgent Care Centers over the weekend regarding testing recommendations and will continue communication with local health care providers as more information becomes available. Two individuals in Dane County who had recently traveled to affected areas were tested over the weekend and both tested negative for swine flu. However, tests for other individuals are pending.
The symptoms for swine flu are similar to those for seasonal influenza (fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headaches, chills, and fatigue); some people with swine flu have also reported diarrhea and vomiting. People who have these symptoms should contact their health care providers, who will evaluate whether testing for swine flu or other diseases is appropriate.
The CDC recommends basic steps to help prevent infection with swine flu: wash your hands, practice good health habits (eat well, get an appropriate amount of sleep, exercise, manage stress), try not to touch contaminated surfaces, and avoid contact with ill people. The CDC and PHMDC have up to date information on their websites regarding the number of cases, travel guidance, and more.
- Jeff Golden, (608) 243-0302