The CDC is reporting 20 human cases of swine influenza A H1N1 in the
United States: seven cases in California, two in Kansas, eight in
New York City, one in Ohio and two in Texas.
"There are no
confirmed cases of swine flu in Illinois at this time," Arnold said
at a state Capitol news conference. "The department has investigated
a number of reports of flu-like illness over the weekend, but
laboratory tests for swine flu were negative. This, however, is a
rapidly evolving situation and we fully expect to see cases in
Illinois. The department and its public health partners, including
local health departments, hospitals and emergency departments, are
on full alert to watch for possible cases. We are prepared to act
swiftly to assure early detection and to respond in the event a
case or cases are identified, to limit its spread."
The state health director 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 provider.
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 vomiting
associated with swine flu.
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, 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.
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 home and contact a doctor to see if they should go in for
"The department and its partners have prepared for events such as
this and will do everything possible to ensure your health and
safety," Arnold said. "We will work closely with hospitals and
health departments and follow the testing and reporting procedures
we have in place. We will educate the public on how to prevent the
spread of disease and make sure those who are ill have the medical
treatment they need."
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Yesterday U.S. Health and Homeland Security officials announced
steps to release a quarter of the country's stockpiles of anti-flu
drugs Tamiflu and Relenza. Arnold said Illinois currently has a
sufficient emergency supply of anti-flu drugs but will receive
additional supplies from the federal government's stockpile this
Although there are currently no travel restrictions, this could
change. For the most up-to-date travel information, visit
contentSwineFluTravel.aspx. If you have recently traveled to one
of the affected areas, you should pay close attention to your health
for seven days.
The Illinois Department of Public Health is participating in
daily calls with the Association of State and Territorial Health
Officials and CDC regarding this issue and will adopt guidelines and
protocols at the direction of the CDC.
The Illinois Emergency Management Agency also is closely
monitoring the developing situation and working to ensure response
plans can be activated quickly if necessary. In addition to
coordinating closely with the state health director, the IEMA
director participated in several situation briefings with the
Department of Homeland Security over the weekend. IEMA alerted state
agency liaisons to the State Emergency Operations Center of the
developing situation over the weekend, and Monday afternoon the
liaisons will meet to discuss potential response actions. State
emergency management officials also have contacted local emergency
management agencies throughout the state to make them aware of
developments and ensure that they are prepared to deal with a
potential flu outbreak in Illinois.
The Department of Public Health will continually update its swine
flu information on the Web at
Illinois Department of Public Health
file received from the
Illinois Office of
Communication and Information]