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Cook County swine flu updates

Tuesday, April 28, 2009
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Click here for an update from the Cook County Department of Public Health on swine flu.

Below is a press release on swine flu from the Cook County Health and Hospitals System.

For Immediate Release: April 27, 2009 Contact: Public Affairs (312) 864-5508

No Swine Flu Cases Reported at CCHHS Hospitals

CHICAGO – There have been no confirmed cases of swine flu at J. H. Stroger, Jr., Provident, and Oak Forest Hospitals or clinics in the Cook County Health and Hospitals System as officials prepared for the possibility of cases in the Chicago area.

Monitoring at the Cermak Health Facility and Cook County Jail has also produced negative results.

Stroger Hospital healthcare leaders met Monday to outline preparations and precautions in the event a patient comes to the hospital with flu-like symptoms or is discovered to have the swine flu.

Stroger Hospital Infectious Diseases Physician Sharon Welbel said “obviously there is cause for concern, but it’s important that there is precaution and not panic.”

CCHHS Spokesman Marcel Bright said “Stroger hospital has put in place protocols in the event a person comes to our emergency room with flu-like symptoms.”

“If a person comes to the emergency room with a high fever and other flu like symptoms they will be placed in an isolation room and tested for the swine flu virus,” Bright said. Anyone entering the room must wear a protective gown, goggles, gloves and mask.”

Welbel said it’s imperative that everyone practice safe preventative measures.

“Proper hand hygiene is probably the most important precaution that can be taken,” Welbel said. “Thorough, frequent hand washing with soap and water, and if it’s not available the use of hand sanitizers is the most effective way to prevent the spread of the flu virus.”

“If someone coughs or sneezes they should do it into a tissue and properly dispose of it. Then use proper hand hygiene.” she said.

Two patients at Stroger with flu –like symptoms have been tested for swine flu, but they were determined not to have the virus, Welbel added.

Symptoms of swine flu are similar to regular human flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills, fatigue and possibly diarrhea and vomiting.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported 40 confirmed human cases of swine influenza A (H1N1) in the United States; 7 in California, 2 in Kansas, 28 in New York City, 1 in Ohio and 2 in Texas.

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