April 28, 2009
Oswego County Health Department Monitors Swine Influenza Outbreak
OSWEGO - Health partners from across the county held a telephone conference yesterday to hear updates from New York State Health officials regarding the recent swine influenza outbreak.
“It is important for the public to know that there are no reported cases of swine flu in Oswego County. We are working with the state health department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to monitor this outbreak,” said Dr. Dennis Norfleet, Oswego County public health director.
Approximately 28 cases have been diagnosed in New York City, with additional cases diagnosed in California, Kansas, Texas and Ohio. Swine flu is a respiratory disease of pigs that is caused by type A influenza viruses. While people do not usually contract the disease, human infections can and do happen.
The virus is primarily spread from person to person by coughing or sneezing.
Symptoms of the disease include: fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some have also reported diarrhea and vomiting. These signs may appear within two to seven days of exposure to the virus.
“So far, the few cases that have been found in the United States have been mild and are similar to the seasonal flu,” Dr. Norfleet added. “Residents should take the same precautions that they would during the flu season.”
This means staying home from work or school if they are sick. Other precautions for residents include: good hand-washing practices, covering your nose and mouth when you sneeze or cough, keeping your hands away from your face and cleaning and disinfecting surfaces. Also remember to boost your immune system with a healthy diet, regular exercise and a full night’s sleep.
Dr. Norfleet said, “As this outbreak continues to evolve, we are conducting active surveillance with local healthcare providers and school districts as these partners can assist us with monitoring flu activity in the county.
“If people think they are suffering from flu-like symptoms, they should contact their personal health care provider as they ordinarily would.” For more information about the swine influenza outbreak, call the New York State Health Department hotline at 1-800-808-1987 or visit their Web site at www.health.state.ny.us/.
Questions about the Oswego County Public Information Office?