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Co.santa-cruz.ca.us

County of Santa Cruz
HEALTH SERVICES AGENCY
POST OFFICE BOX 962, 1080 EMELINE AVENUE SANTA CRUZ, CA 95061-0962
(831) 454-4000 FAX: (831) 454-4488 TDD: (831) 454-4123
PUBLIC HEALTH DIVISION
Press Release

For Immediate Release:
Contact: Dinah Phillips, Public Information Officer
DATE: May 22, 2009 Email:
First Probable Cases of H1N1 2009 (Swine Flu) in Santa Cruz County
May 22, 2009 – Two residents of Santa Cruz County have tested positive for H1N1 (swine flu).
These are the first probable cases of H1N1 2009 (swine flu) in Santa Cruz County. One person, a
37 year old male lives in the north county area, his test took place on May 6, 2009. He is now fully
recovered. The second is a 16 year old female from south county, who was tested on May 14,
2009, she has also fully recovered. As a precaution, close contacts of the patients have been
identified and appropriate control measures to contain the spread of the disease have been
implemented.
The correlation between probable cases and confirmed cases is very high, and the Health
Department is responding as if the cases were confirmed. As a precaution, close contacts of the
patients have been identified and appropriate control measures to contain the spread of the disease
have been implemented.
Dr. Poki Namkung, Health Officer for Santa Cruz County explained, “The swine flu virus, like the
seasonal flu, spreads easily from person-to-person. We expected that it was only a matter of time
before we had a case in Santa Cruz County.” She continued, “We are fortunate that these cases
and most cases in other parts of California have been mild to moderate.”
Swine flu spreads the same way as seasonal flu, mainly through coughing or sneezing
by infected people. The symptoms of swine flu are similar to those of regular seasonal
flu - fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and tiredness. Some people
have reported diarrhea and vomiting with swine flu. Anyone with severe or prolonged
symptoms should contact his or her doctor. Dr. Namkung adds, “If you are not suffering
severe symptoms, please stay home so you don’t infect others.”
There is currently no preventive vaccine for swine flu. However, antiviral medications are effective
in treating swine flu once a person becomes ill. Most people who have become ill in the United
States have recovered without hospitalization or use of antivirals. According the Centers for
Disease Control (CDC), treatment with antivirals should be reserved for the severely ill and the
most at-risk groups.
Dr. Namkung emphasized, “Now that we have evidence that swine flu virus is present in Santa
Cruz County, prevention efforts to reduce the spread of the disease are even more important.
Controlling the spread of an infectious disease like swine flu is a shared responsibility - individuals
have a key role in reducing their own likelihood of getting infected.”

Recommendations for Preventing the Flu (Fever and cough or sore throat)
• First and foremost—Stay home when you are sick (fever and cough or sore throat). This will
prevent others from catching your illness. If you are sick, do not return to work or school until 1 or 2 days after symptoms end. • Avoid close contact with others as much as possible (two arms lengths away). • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. • Cover your mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing, and always wash your hands afterwards or use alcohol-based hand cleaners. • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
Seeking Medical Care
• People with mild illness should NOT go to emergency rooms, urgent care or hospitals for
• Keep Emergency Rooms and Hospitals free to treat serious illnesses. • Please do not request antiviral medication for routine illnesses - providers will prescribe treatments based on symptoms and possible exposure. There is still regular seasonal flu in California, and these antivirals will not be effective with normal flu. • If you have flu-like symptoms call your health care provider and let them know of any possible exposure. Wear a mask before you enter your provider’s office. Your health care provider will make an assessment and decide if you need a test for Swine Flu. Laboratory testing is recommended for people with severe flu-like symptoms.
Don’t Give Aspirin to Children for Flu Symptoms
• Don’t give children medication that contains aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) because it can cause a
rare but serious illness called Reye’s syndrome.
• For relief of fever or other symptoms, give children medicines without aspirin, such as:
o Acetaminophen (Tylenol®) o Ibuprofen (Advil®, Motrin®, Nuprin®) o Naproxen (Aleve®) The swine flu situation is constantly evolving. Santa Cruz County Department of Health Services continues to respond to changes in the scope and spread of the illness. Beginning with notification of the first human cases in the United States, County officials have worked quickly to update local health care providers and to educate the public about steps individuals and the community can take to prevent the spread of swine flu. County officials are working with cities, emergency services, health care providers and other organizations to create a coordinated response to swine flu in Santa Cruz County. More information about swine flu available at: or Residents may also call our information The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has activated a toll-free swine flu hotline in English and Spanish. Assistance in other languages is also available. The phone number is 1-888-865-0564. CDPH's swine flu hotline is available Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., and on weekends from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Source: http://www.co.santa-cruz.ca.us/cao/090522_PressReleaseSwineFlu.pdf

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