Statement by Montgomery County Health Officer Dr. Ulder J. Tillman
Regarding Probable Case of H1N1 (Swine) Flu
Thursday, April 30, 2009
As expected, Montgomery County has identified a probable case of H1N1 (Swine) flu that we are following closely. The County Executive and health officials are working closely on an hour-by-hour basis with the Governor’s office, as well as state and federal health officials. We expect confirmatory tests to be completed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the next several days. I want to assure everyone that we are doing everything we can at the present time and we will continue to respond as the situation unfolds.
The definition of a “probable” case is an individual with flu-like symptoms who has a recent history of travel to an area affected by swine flu or contact with a known case and has preliminary testing suggestive of a novel virus that needs further confirmation.
The probable case was an individual who traveled to Mexico on business. The individual is recovering from their illness and was not hospitalized. Due to confidentiality concerns, no further information about the individual will be released.
We are also working closely with the Montgomery County Public Schools on necessary precautions involving this particular case, as the individual is related to a school staff member.
The situation with the H1N1 virus is still fluid and the CDC is continually updating its guidance and we will respond accordingly.
To keep the flu from spreading, we continue to urge the public to help stop the spread of germs and illness:
· Always cover a cough or sneeze with a tissue—and throw the tissue away. Or cough or sneeze into the inside of the elbow.
· Wash hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze and before you eat. Alcohol hand sanitizer (minimum 60% alcohol) will do if soap and water are unavailable.
· Avoid touching the eyes, nose or mouth. These are places germs can enter the body easily.
· Try to keep at least six feet away from sick people. This is called social distancing. Swine flu, like all flu, is spread through the air so keeping some distance will give the virus space to drop to the ground if someone is coughing or sneezing.
· Monitor yourself and your family for symptoms of fever, chills, headache, sore throat, cough, body aches, and vomiting or diarrhea. If you are sick, stay home from work, school or other public places until you are feeling well. Persons who have difficulty breathing or believed to be severely ill should seek medical attention.
If you have questions or concerns, please call the Public Health Information Line at 240-777-4200 or go to the County’s website at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/swineflu.
Media Contact: Mary Anderson, 240-777-6534 (cell 301-529-7669)