Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Swine flu: Governor has declared a state of emergency

State of Emergency declared in California
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has declared a state of emergency that will help California agencies coordinate efforts in response to the outbreak of swine flu.

Schwarzenegger's proclamation in Sacramento on Tuesday sets in motion a series of administrative actions, including ordering all agencies to coordinate with public health officials as needed.

The action also suspends noncompetitive bidding for contracts needed to respond to the outbreak and waives certification requirements for laboratories involved in the testing.


Swine Flu Outbreak by the numbers:

California Case Totals as of (April 27, 2009, 2:30 p.m.): Eleven.
Counties:
Imperial 5; Sacramento 1; San Diego County 5

Swine Influenza facts:

Swine influenza (swine flu) is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A influenza viruses. These swine viruses do not usually infect humans. However, sporadic human cases have occurred; between December 2005 and February 2009, 12 cases of human infection with swine influenza were reported in the U.S. Human-to-human transmission of swine flu can occur but is rare.

What can I do to protect myself from getting sick?
There is no vaccine available right now to protect against swine flu. There are everyday actions that can help prevent the spread of germs that cause
respiratory illnesses like influenza. Take these everyday steps to protect your health:

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
    Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.

  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.

  • If you get sick with influenza, CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting

For general information about swine influenza: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/swine/key_facts.htm.

Unique swine influenza virus detected in several states in the U.S. and Mexico raises concern for human-to-human transmission -- April 2009. Human cases of novel swine influenza A (H1N1) have been confirmed in several states in the U.S., including California, and Mexico. All cases in the U.S. have recovered, but severe respiratory illness and deaths have been reported in Mexico.

No cases in the U.S. reported recent exposure to pigs. The viruses from the cases are closely related to one another and contain a unique combination of gene segments never seen before.

How many swine flu viruses are there?
Like all influenza viruses, swine flu viruses change constantly. Pigs can be infected by avian influenza and human influenza viruses as well as swine influenza viruses. When influenza viruses from different species infect pigs, the viruses can reassort (i.e. swap genes) and new viruses that are a mix of swine, human and/or avian influenza viruses can emerge. Over the years, different variations of swine flu viruses have emerged. At this time, there are four main influenza type A virus subtypes that have been isolated in pigs: H1N1, H1N2, H3N2, and H3N1. However, most of the recently isolated influenza viruses from pigs have been H1N1 viruses.

Antiviral resistant: The viruses from the first two cases are resistant to the antivirals amantadine and rimantadine, but susceptible to oseltamivir (Tamiflu) and zanamivir (Relenza); susceptibility testing on the remainder of the cases’ viruses is pending but is expected to be the same.

Is there a vaccine for swine flu?
Vaccines are available to be given to pigs to prevent swine influenza. There is no vaccine to protect humans from swine flu. The seasonal influenza vaccine will likely help provide partial protection against swine H3N2, but not swine H1N1 viruses.

Further investigation to characterize the virus and the extent of human-human transmission are underway. As this situation is evolving, up-to-date information on the investigation will be posted to http://www.cdc.gov/flu/swine/investigation.htm. For a summary and discussion of the first two cases detected, see the 4/24/09 issue of MMWR, available at http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr.

More California Swine Flu Outbreak information:

The California Department of Public Health - Link

Latest News from the CDC:
  • Updates on Swine Flu Investigation (CDC)
  • Swine Flu and You - Questions and Answers (CDC)
  • Interim Guidance for Swine influenza A (H1N1): Taking Care of a Sick Person in Your Home (CDC)
  • Swine Influenza Key Facts (CDC)
  • Swine Flu Video Podcast (CDC)
  • Swine Influenza in Pigs and People Brochure (CDC, U.S. Department of Agriculture)
  • Travel Warning: Swine Influenza and Severe Cases of Respiratory Illness in Mexico--Avoid Nonessential Travel to Mexico (CDC)
  • Datos Importantes Sobre la Influenza Porcina (Gripe Porcina) - Espanol (CDC)
  • Current Information and Resources From CDPH:

    Swine Flu Homepage
  • Swine Influenza (Flu) Clinical Guidelines
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