King County Reports Additional H1N1 Cases
Today, six more probable cases of H1N1 influenza, also known as swine flu, have been identified in King County through the Washington State Public Health Laboratory. The number of probable cases in King County is now 28, including 27 that were identified through laboratory tests. Laboratory samples have been sent to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Public Health - Seattle & King County is awaiting final confirmation.
With more widespread illness in the community, Public Health is working with school districts to implement a new strategy to keep ill children out of schools. Specifically, instead of closing a school when children test positive for the new influenza A H1N1, Public Health is recommending that:
* Parents carefully check their children before school for signs and symptoms of the flu. If symptoms are present, they should not send their children to school.
* Schools monitor children and be on the alert for ill children in schools. If they find children with symptoms of the flu, they will send the children home.
* School staff and faculty will assess themselves for symptoms of influenza and will stay home if sick.
Public Health has a Flu Hotline for the public at 877-903-KING (5464) staffed from Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Interpreters are available.
Recommendations for seeking medical care
The new influenza A H1N1 is circulating in the community, but since most infections are relatively mild, fewer tests are being conducted to determine if an ill person is infected with the H1N1 virus. Laboratories are focusing limited testing resources on people with more severe symptoms.
Symptoms of influenza can include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, runny nose, tiredness diarrhea, and vomiting. People who are not ill or have mild symptoms for which they would not ordinarily seek medical care do not need to do so now. If symptoms are more severe, call or visit your health care provider to discuss if you need to be evaluated or treated. Antiviral drugs are available to treat persons with serious infections requiring hospitalization and persons at high risk for complications.