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|Local Health Officials Say No Confirmed or Probable Swine Flu Cases in Knox County
|Dispelling rampant rumors, local health officials say Swine Flu has not proven to be present at this time in Knox County.
As of Friday morning, Knox County has NO confirmed cases of the H1N1 virus; nor are there any probable cases of the virus in the County. There are, however, 3 confirmed cases and 51 probable cases of the N1H1 virus in the State of Illinois.
A suspect case is a person with acute febrile respiratory illness with an onset within 7 days of close contact with a person who is confirmed case; within 7 days of travel to community either within the US or internationally where there are one or more confirmed cases, or who resides in a community where there are one or more confirmed cases. A probable case is defined as a person with an acute febrile illness who is positive for influenza A, but, negative for H1 and H3, with the lab sent to the CDC for further testing. A confirmed case is defined as a person with an acute febrile illness with a CDC laboratory confirmed infection.
Local efforts of the Knox County Health Department currently include: active surveillance of any possible influenza-like cases, providing guidance to local health care providers, and education of the general public, schools, businesses, as well as other entities about influenza prevention activities. Health Department staff are requesting that residents not come to the Department if they are symptomatic. Individuals should phone their health care providers if they have concerns that they have contracted the H1N1 virus.
It has been very common to see widespread public use of masks in other countries by the general public. Masks provide limited protection from influenza. We urge caution in experiencing a false sense of security with mask use. Science has shown that over time and numerous types of ILI, better protection is afforded by good handwashing, covering coughs and sneezes with the arm, avoiding close contact with people, and staying home if you are ill.
Knox County is holding meetings amongst emergency/outbreak response partners which are being held to enable the appropriate opportunity for community planning, coordination and communication. Functions of this Emergency Operations Center may expand if heightened local measures become necessary.
Knox County has received a shipment of antiviral medications from the Strategic National Stockpile via the Illinois Department of Public Health; IDPH will provide guidance to Knox County health care providers as to how supplies will be made available in Knox County.
"It is important to understand that there is a limited supply of antivirals for Knox County, and that medications received through the Strategic National Stockpile are not intended for use as prophylaxis (prevention) for the population of Knox County," states Michele Fishburn, Director of Community Health Improvement for the Knox County Health Department. "The antivirals are intended to be used for the treatment of Knox County individuals who become ill with the H1N1 virus."
There is no H1N1 vaccine at this time; it is undetermined when or if that vaccine will be made available. Further updates regarding the H1N1 virus will be released to the media from the Knox County Health Department. If you have further questions please contact the Knox County Health Department at 309-344-2224.
(information provided by the Knox County Health Department)
|05 01 09 by Newsroom
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