NCH Swine Flu Update

NCH Swine Flu (H1N1) Update: 4:30pm May 11, 2009

As of today, there are 2532 cases of H1N1 in the United States with 55 confirmed cases in the State of Florida. This morning, the first case was confirmed in Collier County. Fortunately, this case has been self-isolated for 7 days with no link to communicable sources. The County Health Department is confident that this person is an isolated case with very little evidence of spreading or other cases pending in the county.

Statistical data of H1N1 indicates that the median age of H1N1 patients in the U.S. is 18 with 80% of cases occurring in those 18 years of age or younger. There have only been 22 hospitalized cases in the U.S. (less than 1% of cases) indicating that this strain of H1N1 is not much more virulent that the common seasonal version. The overshadowing concern is that the H1N1 strain may return in the fall during normal seasonal flu months, in a more aggressive form. To this end, the CDC is actively working on vaccines for H1N1 as well as the seasonal flu strains. The expectation is that there will be multiple vaccines available in the fall to cover seasonal and H1N1 type flu strains.

Within the next few days, it is expected that the Collier County Health Department will be taking a “stand down” approach to this outbreak. Again the focus is on prevention. At NCH, day to day work practices should be maintained using standard precautions & posted isolation status precautions including strict hand washing. Masking is only necessary when providing direct patient care to someone who has or is suspected of having Influenza A or suspected H1N1. The N-95 mask is the product to be used with this patient population. Please check the FAQ list for commonly asked questions.

For additional, up to date information on local, state and federal actions, please use the following sources. Please review the FAQ list as more questions have been added.

State of Florida Hot-Line: 800-342-3557

Collier County Flu Hot-line: 252-6220.