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North Carolina Health Officials Monitor Swine Flu

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

Public Health leaders in North Carolina along with other States across the country are monitoring the Swine Influenza infection cases in Texas and California. While no cases of Swine Flu have been reported in North Carolina or anywhere in the eastern half of the country, state public health officials are asking North Carolina residents to remain aware of events as they develop and to follow the same precautions they take during any flu season.

“We want North Carolinians to know that we are actively participating in CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) efforts to detect the disease and are coordinating with doctors and health providers across the state,” State Health Director Jeff Engel said. “As with all flu events, people should cover their mouths and noses when sneezing or coughing, avoid close contact with people who are sick and wash hands often.”

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People who have recently traveled to southern California, Texas or Mexico and develop flu-like symptoms should contact their health provider and inform them of their travel to those areas.

As of this Friday afternoon CDC confirmed eight cases of swine influenza infection in humans, six in California and two in Texas. Only one of the patients identified was reported to have been hospitalized.

North Carolina public health officials began coordinating with regional responders and local health departments on Friday, to ensure information and updates are communicated to local health providers. All providers are being asked to question patients who report having influenza-like illness about any recent travel. State health providers participating in the national Influenza Sentinel Provider Network are also being asked to submit viral cultures from all patients presenting symptoms of influenza-like illness.

Swine Influenza (swine flu) is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A influenza that regularly causes outbreaks of influenza among pigs. Swine flu virus can be transmitted from pigs to humans through contact with live pigs, and cases of human-to-human spread of swine flu viruses have been documented.