Friday, May 01, 2009
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State receives antivirals, medical supplies from federal Strategic National Stockpile

IDPH reports 41 probable H1N1 (swine flu) cases in Illinois

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[May 01, 2009]  SPRINGFIELD -- Several state agencies and the Illinois National Guard were assisting on Thursday with the receipt and repackaging of antiviral medications and medical supplies that began arriving in Illinois on Wednesday from the federal Strategic National Stockpile. Kits containing the supplies were to be shipped to local health departments and hospitals throughout the state later in the day Thursday, with distribution expected to continue through the weekend.

HardwareOfficials with the Illinois Department of Public Health reported that as of 6 p.m. Thursday, there were 41 probable cases of H1N1 (swine flu) reported in Illinois.

The breakdown of the 41 probable cases was as follows:

  • Chicago, 16

  • Cook County, 11

  • DuPage County, 2

  • Kane County, 7

  • Lake County, 1

  • McHenry County, 1

  • Will County, 3

Earlier on Thursday, the Department of Public Health announced that 17 probable cases of swine flu had been identified in Illinois, with eight cases in Cook County, six in Kane County, and one each in DuPage, Lake and McHenry counties. The specimens for those probable cases were sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for confirmatory testing. Illinois expected to receive test results from the CDC within 24 to 48 hours of submission.

"Right now our goals are to identify swine flu cases as quickly as possible and to stop the spread," said Dr. Damon T. Arnold, Illinois Department of Public Health director. "The most important things people can do to keep themselves and others healthy are to stay home if sick, cover your cough or sneeze with your arm or tissue, and properly wash your hands frequently."

Supplies in the federal SNS shipments include more than 376,000 courses of the antiviral medications Tamiflu and Relenza, which can help lessen the severity of swine flu symptoms, as well as masks, gloves and surgical gowns to protect health care workers who may come in contact with infected patients. The federal supplies are being combined with 650,000 courses of antiviral medications already stockpiled by IDPH. Kits for the hospitals and public health departments are being assembled at a central processing center, and shipments to the local sites were to begin Thursday afternoon.

The SNS supplies shipped to Illinois this week represent 25 percent of the amount allocated to the state by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. Arnold said the state can request its remaining allocation if it appears the current supplies will run short.

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On Tuesday, Gov. Pat Quinn issued an emergency proclamation to allow for the mobilization of state assets to aid in the distribution of the SNS and any other actions needed to protect the public. The State Emergency Operations Center in Springfield was activated earlier this week and currently is staffed with liaisons from several state agencies that are supporting the state's SNS distribution operation.

"The state of Illinois has a comprehensive plan for handling and distributing the Strategic National Stockpile," said Andrew Velasquez III, director of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency. "We've conducted numerous exercises of the plan over the past few years, which prepared us to efficiently receive, process and distribute these critical medical supplies."

Personnel and equipment from the following agencies are involved in the processing and distribution operation: IDPH, IEMA, Illinois State Police, Department of Central Management Services, Illinois Department of Transportation, Illinois Department of Corrections and Illinois Department of Human Services.

In addition, approximately 200 soldiers from the Illinois National Guard are assisting with the operation as part of a training exercise. The Illinois Guard soldiers are from the 232nd Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, headquartered in Springfield. It includes the 1344th Transportation Co. of East St. Louis, the 1544th Transportation Co. of Paris, the 3625th Maintenance Co. of North Riverside and the 3637th Maintenance Co. of Springfield. The Illinois National Guard had a training exercise on the distribution of SNS medical supplies scheduled for late May. Guard leadership decided that moving the exercise up would add training value for the soldiers.


Information about the swine flu outbreak is continually updated on the state's Ready Illinois online site,

[Text from Illinois Department of Public Health file received from the Illinois Office of Communication and Information]

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