First Confirmed H1N1 Flu Case In Southern Illinois

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Officials with the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) are reporting 393 confirmed cases of H1N1 flu (swine flu) in Illinois and one probable case. A specimen from Franklin County is the first confirmed case in southern Illinois.

“We knew we would see cases of H1N1 flu across Illinois, so the case from Franklin County is not a surprise,” said Dr. Damon T. Arnold, Illinois Department of Public Health Director. “And although the number of confirmed cases in Illinois appears high compared to the rest of the country, there is no need to be alarmed. Currently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is seeing a backlog of cases from states still submitting samples, but the Department is one of only a few states certified by the CDC to conduct its own confirmatory testing and therefore the Department is able to confirm its cases much more quickly. Local health departments and hospitals are also doing a phenomenal job in identifying suspect cases, which adds to the case count.”

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According to the CDC, it is likely there will be a point where it will become impossible to count individual cases. At that point, health officials will transition to using reporting systems similar to those used for seasonal flu. Individual cases of seasonal flu are not counted, but activity levels are monitored through a nationwide surveillance system, which will be used to monitor the spread of illness caused by this new virus.

To stay healthy, follow the three C’s:

Clean – properly wash your hands frequently
Cover – cover your cough and sneeze
Contain – contain your germs by staying home if you are sick

The Illinois Department of Public Health will remain vigilant in an effort to reduce the transmission and severity of illness.

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