Swine flu update

Swine flu update - April 2009

As you have probably seen in the news media, the country is on alert for possible cases of swine influenza.

Shands HealthCare leaders, University of Florida faculty and community physicians are working closely with the Florida Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to screen for possible cases here in Florida. No cases have been reported in Florida at this time. However, we must stay on the lookout in our facilities and maintain the safest possible environment for our patients and employees.

On April 17, the CDC determined that two patient cases of febrile respiratory illness in southern California were caused by infection with the swine influenza A (H1N1) virus. Since then, six additional cases have been identified and there are now eight U.S. cases: six in California and two in Texas. Since that time more cases have been identified and as of April 26, 2007 (the most recent update from CDC) there have 40 cases identified in the United States. Cases have also been reported in Canada.

Because there is concern about human-to-human transmission of swine influenza and because transmission of this virus could be occurring in other areas of the nation, we’re asking for your assistance.

Please help us enforce influenza surveillance and avoidance in the Shands system.

  • Provide masks, tissues and small trash bags (for tissues) in your patient waiting areas.
  • Be sure to have alcohol gel (hand sanitizer) available for use.
  • Know and watch for the signs and symptoms of swine influenza infection.
  • Practice proper hand hygiene and cough containment as you would for regular influenza.
  • Note that current flu vaccines are not effective against swine influenza.

All final exams, scheduled activities and weekend graduation ceremonies are proceeding as planned at this time. Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to check the UF home page at www.ufl.edu for any schedule changes or updates related to the swine flu.

Members of the university community who have recently visited Mexico should contact the Student Health Care Center at 392-1161 or their primary care physician. Anyone traveling outside the United States should monitor the CDC Web site for information on current travel notices at http://www.cdc.gov/travel/.