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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Letter from Dr. Remington, County Health Officer for Kosciusko County

The following is a letter from Dr. Remington with the Kosciusko County Health Office. The letter is an update on the North American Human Influenza A (H1N1):

The experience with North American Human Influenza A (H1N1) – previously known as “Swine Flu” –is growing, including a case at Notre Dame.

At this writing there are no documented cases in Kosciusko County, although it is very likely that we will see cases here in the next several days. Fortunately, at this juncture, the cases have been relatively mild and not life threatening. They typically resolve in a few days without any formal medical care required.

The symptoms of North American human influenza A (H1N1) are similar to the symptoms of regular seasonal influenza and include:
Fever over 100 degrees
lack of appetite
Some people have also reported runny nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea

I believe, at this juncture, it is important to convey the importance of “social separation” of those who may be ill with this influenza. People who have a fever with a prominent cough and achiness, should try to stay home until the fever is gone, and are feeling much better. They should not go to work, go to school, or enter crowded community settings. This simple step will help more than anything else. If someone is “worrisomely” quite ill, they should seek medical care.

The role of masks, antivirals (such as Tamiflu or Relenza), and hospital medical care are quite secondary to the simple interventions of “social separation” and are not needed for the vast majority of people with suspected influenza.

If this new strain eventually demonstrates to cause a high rate of very severe cases and/or death, then our public health directive may change. We all need to stay tuned to the developing story with this outbreak in the days and weeks ahead...

...Your health department remains strongly connected to our Kosciusko County emergency planners and expertise of the Indiana State Department of Health, and the Centers for Disease and Control. We are very tuned in with this outbreak.


William L. Remington Jr., M.D.
Kosciusko County Health Department

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