Caution urged in wake of Swine Flu outbreak

Staff reports

Illinois State Public Health director Dr. Arnold urged the public to continue to monitor the news and heed the advice provided by federal, state and local health officials and their health care providers.

As of April 28 there have been no confirmed cases  of Swine Flu in Illinois.

Public health officials within the United States and throughout the world are investigating outbreaks of swine influenza.

Mexico

As of April 27 the Government of Mexico has reported 18 laboratory confirmed human cases of swine influenza A/H1N1. Suspect clinic cases have been reported in 19 of the country's 32 states.

Deaths have reportedly occurred in Mexico.

Jennifer Hammerlink of the Mercer County Health Department said so far five states have been affected: California, Kansas, Ohio, New York and Texas.

The Center For Disease Control is investigating 20 human cases in those states. Only two of those cases have been hospitalized and all have recovered.

Swine flu is a respiratory disease of pigs and typically, humans are not infected. However, the CDC has confirmed human-to-human transmission of swine flu cases.

Symptoms of swine flu are similar to regular human flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people also have reported diarrhea and vomit

associated with swine flu.

Dr. Arnold said the public should follow some common sense precautions to avoid getting sick, or, if sick, infecting others:

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you don't have a tissue when you cough or sneeze into your arm.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water - especially after you cough and sneeze. You can also use alcohol -based hand cleaners.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth - that's how germs are spread.
  • If you get sick - stay home from work or school and limit your contact with other people to avoid infecting them. Parents should follow these same recommendations for their children.

For people who have flu-like symptoms and have traveled to areas where swine flu has been confirmed, they should seek medical attention. However, if a person has flu-like symptoms, but has not traveled to areas where swine flu has been confirmed, they should stay at home and contact a doctor to see if they should go in for testing.

Although there are currently no travel restrictions, this could change. For the most up to date travel information  long onto http://www.cdc.gov/travel/contentSwineFlu Travel.aspx. If you have recently traveled to one of the affected areas you should pay close attention to your health for seven days.