Solano County Identifies Probable Case Of Swine Flu

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Dr. Ronald Chapman, Solano Public Health Officer, today again urged all local residents to take common sense steps to protect themselves from swine flu following identification of the first probable case of swine flu in Solano County. The probable case is a 50-year-old man from Vacaville.

Although the majority of the cases identified in the United States to date have been mild, there was a reported death Wednesday of a toddler in Texas. Public health officials are concerned that more serious illnesses could occur and have taken cautionary steps to protect the public. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has determined that this virus is contagious and spreading from human to human. The federal Department of Health and Human Services and the State of California have declared national and state Public Health Emergencies, respectively, because of the growing number of swine flu illnesses.

"It is critically important for everyone to protect themselves and their families by practicing good hand washing and respiratory hygiene. This includes frequent hand washing, regular use of hand sanitizers, coughing or sneezing into your sleeve or a tissue," said Dr. Chapman.

“In addition, it is very important that you stay home when you are sick. Isolating yourself will help reduce the spread of this virus. I'm asking people who have been in direct contact with someone who is ill to limit their contact with other people. These measures have been proven very successful to reduce the spread of viruses,” said Dr. Chapman.

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The symptoms of swine flu in humans are similar to the symptoms of regular human flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people have also reported diarrhea and vomiting associated with human swine flu.

Flu is generally spread by direct contact with germs from an infected person, from either uncovered coughs or sneezes or by touching something the infected person has handled. People experiencing flu-like symptoms, particularly individuals who have recently traveled to Mexico, should call their health care provider for advice. Anyone experiencing severe symptoms, such as trouble breathing, should seek medical care immediately.

“We want to reassure parents that we are following CDC guidance regarding schools. If we get a confirmed or probable case in a school, we will be closing that school. To date, there have been no probable or confirmed cases in school children in Solano County,” Dr. Chapman said.

“The CDC guidance we have been issued also states that if a school dismisses students or a childcare facility closes, they should also cancel all school or childcare-related gatherings and encourage parents and students to avoid congregating outside of the school,” added Dr. Chapman.

Solano County Public Health is coordinating with state and federal agencies to implement increased influenza surveillance and containment measures. The emergency operation centers at the CDC, California Department of Public Health have been activated to investigate this outbreak. Solano County has activated its Health and Social Services Department Operation Center, and are in frequent communication with area healthcare providers, city officials, and local schools.

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