Health and Family Services Cabinet
Kentucky Department for Public Health Continues to Be on Alert for Cases of Swine Flu
Currently Testing Specimens Submitted by Health Care Providers
FRANKFORT, Ky. (April 29, 2009) The Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) continues to be alert for the presence of swine flu in Kentucky, but has not detected any probable or confirmed cases. If such a case is identified, samples from the patient will be sent to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for further testing.
“While we do not yet have confirmed cases of swine flu in Kentucky, we are continuing to carefully evaluate all potential cases that are being reported by our health care community,” said Public Health Commissioner William Hacker, M.D. “We also join the CDC in cautioning Kentuckians against nonessential travel to Mexico.”
DPH also reminds Kentuckians who have traveled recently to Mexico, or other countries or communities within the U.S. where swine flu infection has been reported, or who are planning such travel, to be alert for the symptoms of swine flu in the following ways:
- Monitor self and travel companions for symptoms of fever, chills, headache, sore throat, cough, body aches, and vomiting or diarrhea.
- If symptoms of illness develop within seven days of travel return, seek evaluation by a health care provider as soon as possible.
- Be sure to tell your health care provider about your recent travel and suggest testing for influenza.
- Stay home from work, school and other public places until you are feeling well.
People who have been in close contact with a person who has been diagnosed with swine flu or who reside in communities where there are one or more confirmed swine flu cases should also be alert for these symptoms.
“Kentucky health officials remain in close communication with health care providers and other stakeholders, and we will continue to provide new information as it comes in,” said Gov. Steve Beshear. “Individuals should continue to monitor this developing situation and practice basic measures to stay healthy, such as hand washing and staying home when ill.”
Common sense precautions to prevent illness include: avoiding close contact with those who are ill; staying home when sick; covering the mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing; avoiding touching the eyes, nose or mouth; and frequent hand washing.
Currently, there are more than 91 confirmed cases of swine flu in the U.S., a number that is expected to continue to grow. The World Health Organization and CDC have reported numerous human cases of a severe respiratory illness in at least three different regions of Mexico. The number of cases has risen steadily during April 2009. Laboratory testing of patient specimens has confirmed infections with swine influenza ("swine flu") A/H1N1 virus. This is a newly emerging, animal-origin virus that is now being spread from an infected person to another person.
For more information on swine flu, visit: http://cdc.gov/swineflu. Individuals can also visit http://healthalerts.ky.gov for information on swine flu and Kentucky, or follow KYHealthAlerts on Twitter to be notified when new information is posted at the Web site.