Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Pasadena Public Health Department shares swine flu info

The Pasadena Public Health Department is issuing an alert to physicians to be on the watch for the A/H1N1 (swine flu) virus in humans.

While no individual cases have been identified in the Pasadena area at this time, as of today there are 40 confirmed cases of swine flu in the United States, with seven of those cases in California according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The illness in the U.S. currently is not severe.

“While this situation is fluid and changing, the Pasadena Public Health Department is implementing a response plan, and we are working with our community partners and providers to ramp up local surveillance,” said Dr. Takashi Wada, director and health officer with the Pasadena Public Health Department. “Since the flu season is waning, we are asking doctors to please take note if they see patients with high fevers, coughs and sore throats, who have recently traveled to affected areas such as Mexico or who have been in contact with persons who had fevers and who have been in these affected areas.”

Health providers should contact the Pasadena Public Health Department for clinical guidance on testing and treatment.

“We are working closely with our counterparts on the county, state and national levels to be as proactive as possible to minimize the potential impact of swine flu in the Pasadena community,” Wada added.

in addition, the Public Health Department urges the use of these prevention measures for the general public:

* As always, people with respiratory illnesses and fevers should stay home from work or school to avoid spreading infections, including influenza, to others in the community.

* Avoid close contact with people who are coughing or otherwise appear ill.

*Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

* Wash your hands frequently to lessen the spread of respiratory illness.

The symptoms of swine flu in humans are similar to the symptoms of seasonal influenza. These include fever greater than 100 degrees, coughing, sore throat, chills, headache and body aches, fatigue, respiratory congestion and, in some cases, diarrhea and vomiting. People experiencing these symptoms should stay home and contact their medial providers.

Seek emergency medical care if you or someone you know is having any of following warning signs:

IN CHILDREN, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:

* Fast breathing or trouble breathing

* Bluish skin color

* Not drinking enough fluids

* Not waking up or not interacting

* Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held

* Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough

* Fever with a rash

IN ADULTS, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:

*Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath

* Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen

* Sudden dizziness

* Confusion

* Severe or persistent vomiting

The infection appears to spread from person to person. Swine influenza viruses are not transmitted by food; a person cannot get swine influenza from eating pork products.

For more information on swine flu, visit www.cityofpasadena.net/publichealth or www.cdc.gov or call the city of Pasadena public health information line at (626) 744-6012.

The Pasadena Public Health Department will provide local updates as they become necessary.



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