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May 3, 2009

For More Information Contact

  • Larry Hill, (757) 683-9175 or (757) 449-4287

NORFOLK DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH ANNOUNCES PROBABLE CASE OF H1N1 INFLUENZA IN NORFOLK

(NORFOLK, Va.)—The acting Director of the Norfolk Department of Public Health, David Trump, MD, MPH, MPA, said today that the department received the laboratory report of a probable case in Norfolk of the new H1N1 influenza, also known as swine flu.

The patient is a child who was exposed to an ill family member during a trip to the southwestern United States. The child did not require hospitalization and is recovering well. “The child and the family have cooperated to minimize spread of the infection by remaining in voluntary isolation at home,” Dr. Trump said.

The child attends the East Beach Montessori School and Dr. Trump said this evening that the health department was not aware of any other influenza illnesses at the pre-school. “Because of the age of the children, I have recommended closure of the school for a week. We will continue to monitor this situation on a daily basis and will adjust our recommendation as necessary,” Dr. Trump said.

“At this time, there are no other indications of probable cases at any other schools, pre-schools or day care centers in the Tidewater area,” Dr. Trump added.

The pre-school is notifying parents this evening of the closure. Beginning tomorrow, the health department will work closely with the parents and their children’s clinicians to answer questions and to furnish them with up-to-the-minute care and treatment guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The current H1N1 influenza outbreak is caused by an influenza virus not previously detected in humans or animals. Symptoms are similar to those of seasonal flu and typically include fever, cough and sore throat. Additional symptoms may include headache, chills and fatigue. Children less than 5 years old are very susceptible to getting flu and are more likely to require hospitalization. Persons with H1N1 flu are contagious for up to seven days after the onset of illness and possibly longer if they are still symptomatic.

Dr. Trump advised anyone with these symptoms to protect themselves, their families and their neighbors by:

  • staying home from work or school and limiting their contact with others to keep from infecting them
  • calling their health care providers or local health department before seeking care so that the necessary infection control measures can be put in place
  • covering their nose and mouth with a tissue when they cough or sneeze and throwing the tissue in the trash after use
  • washing their hands often with soap and water, especially after they cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners also are effective.
  • limiting close contact with sick people
  • preventing the spread of germs by not touching eyes, nose or mouth

The Virginia Department of Health has established an information line at (877) ASK-VDH3, or (877) 275-8343, for anyone with concerns or questions about H1N1 flu. The hotline will be open daily this week from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

For further information consult the CDC’s Web site at www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu and the VDH Web site at www.vdh.virginia.gov.


Last Updated: 09-04-2009

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