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posted on May 03, 2009 11:18
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed swine flu infection in a Kootenai County woman, the first confirmed case of swine flu in Idaho. The woman, who is in her 60s, became moderately ill after recently traveling to Texas. She was not hospitalized and is recovering.
 
Public health officials from Panhandle District Health and Idaho Public Health are working with the woman and her healthcare provider for continued care and have implemented strategies to reduce the chances of transmitting infection to other people. This includes the use of antivirals and voluntary home isolation. The woman is retired and reportedly had limited contacts with other people since she began suffering flu-like symptoms.
 
With this confirmation, people do not need to change their normal daily routines. “Our advice for people right now sounds simple, but is really effective,” says Dr. Christine Hahn, State Epidemiologist. “Wash your hands frequently, cover your cough and stay home from school or work when you are sick. Stopping the spread of flu is up to all of us. We can all do our part.”
 
The Idaho Bureau of Labs has tested samples from 82 people for swine flu infection. The state lab detected a probable case from the Kootenai County sample late Thursday afternoon, and immediately shipped a sample to the CDC for confirmation. As of Sunday, with Idaho’s confirmation, 227 people in the Untied States have confirmed cases of swine flu from 31 states.
 
District Health Departments continue to investigate new reports of possible swine flu infection. People who have a recent travel history to areas affected by swine flu and who are suffering from flu symptoms such as fever, sore throat, muscle aches, and cough are asked to contact their healthcare provider. People who have no travel history should call their healthcare provider if their symptoms are severe enough that they would normally warrant a visit to their doctor. People who do not have any symptoms should not be tested for swine flu.
  
Idaho public health officials are working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to distribute medications and supplies that could eventually be used to treat over 50,000 sick people in Idaho. The supplies will be strategically distributed throughout the state and serve as a reserve for medications that are currently available in the private sector at pharmacies and hospitals.
 
The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare has developed a web site at www.swineflu.idaho.gov that will contain information about reports of influenza illnesses. The web site will be updated at 2 p.m., Monday through Saturday, with the most current lab results.
 
For people who may be traveling to affected areas, travel information and recommendations are available from the CDC at: www.cdc.gov/travel.
 
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