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H1N1 Influenza (Swine Flu) Confirmed in Oklahoma County
The Oklahoma City-County Health Department Interim Director Robert Jamison announced today that a case of 2009 H1N1 Influenza (swine flu) virus has been confirmed in Oklahoma County in a child in the Deer Creek Schools.
The child was out of school from the onset of symptoms, but has since recovered and returned to school. The child was likely exposed through contact with a family member that became ill after traveling to Mexico. No additional cases have been identified from contact with this child.
The Oklahoma City-County Health Department has been in communication with the Superintendent of Deer Creek Schools and is not recommending closure of schools or cancellation of school related events at this time.
According to Jamison, “We have been monitoring this case to limit exposure to others while confirmatory tests were pending. We have interviewed individuals who have been in contact with the patient and to date have not found anyone requiring testing.”
The symptoms of H1N1 influenza are similar to seasonal influenza and include fever greater than 100 degrees, body aches, coughing, sore throat, respiratory congestion, and in some cases, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. Physicians in Oklahoma County who have patients with these symptoms and have traveled to Mexico or affected areas should send nasal and throat specimens to the state Public Health Laboratory for analysis.
“The virus is spread person-to-person, not by eating pork or pork products,” Jamison said. “There is no vaccine to prevent this new flu and the current flu vaccine used to prevent seasonal influenza will not provide protection against this new flu strain.”
Oklahoma County residents who experience flu-like symptoms should contact their physician. Some antiviral drugs may be used to treat persons at high risk of complications from the disease. Health officials caution that aspirin should not be given to children or teenagers who have flu-like symptoms, particularly fever. Instead, use medications such as acetaminophen to relieve fever and muscle aches associated with the flu. The use of aspirin in children has been associated with Reye’s syndrome, a potentially fatal disease in children, causing harmful effects to many organs, including the brain and liver.
The Oklahoma City-County Health Department reminds the public to continue to practice these recommendations to prevent the spread of influenza:
Persons with questions about H1N1 influenza may call:
Oklahoma City- County Health Department at (405) 425-4437
Oklahoma State Department of Health H1N1 influenza toll-free hotline at 1-866-278-7134 from 8 am to 8 pm
State of Oklahoma
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