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For Release:
April 25, 2009
Leslea Bennett-Webb
Office of Communications
Weekend Phone: 405/684-3920
As a precautionary step in its monitoring and surveillance of the newly emerging swine influenza virus, the Oklahoma State Department of Health has issued the following public health advisory for Oklahoma travelers to Mexico:


The World Health Organization is reporting numerous human cases of a severe respiratory illness in at least three different regions of Mexico. The number of cases has risen steadily since the beginning of April 2009. Laboratory testing of patient specimens has confirmed infections with swine influenza (“swine flu”) A/H1N1 virus.  This is a newly emerging, animal-origin virus that is now being spread from an infected person to another person. Due to known circulation of this virus in Mexico, the Oklahoma State Department of Health is advising travelers of the following:

While in Mexico   

  • Avoid close contact (< 3 feet) with persons who are coughing or otherwise appear ill.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Wash hands frequently, or use alcohol-containing hand sanitizer gel.

Upon Return from travels to Mexico

  • Monitor self and travel companions for symptoms of fever, chills, headache, sore throat, cough, body aches, and vomiting or diarrhea.
  • If symptoms of illness develop within 10 days of travel return, seek evaluation by a healthcare provider as soon as possible.
  • Be sure to tell your healthcare provider about your recent travel and suggest testing for influenza.
  • Stay home from work, school and other public places until you are feeling well.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health has strengthened its influenza surveillance and has asked health care providers to consider testing patients for influenza who present with flu-like illness, especially if they have traveled to Mexico or one of the states known to have cases. The symptoms of swine flu in humans are similar to the symptoms of seasonal influenza and include: fever greater than 100 degrees, body aches, coughing, sore throat, respiratory congestion, and in some cases, diarrhea and vomiting.

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