Gov. Perry Takes Precautionary Measures to Address Swine Flu in Texas
AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry today in a precautionary measure requested the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provide 37,430 courses of antiviral medications from the Strategic National Stockpile to Texas to prevent the spread of swine flu. Currently, three cases of swine flu have been confirmed in Texas.
“As a precautionary measure, I have requested that medication be on hand in Texas to help curb the spread of swine flu by helping those with both confirmed and suspected cases of this swine flu virus, as well as healthcare providers who may have come in contact with these patients,” said Gov. Rick Perry. “We will continue to work with our local, state and federal health officials to ensure public safety is protected.”
All three Texas cases are high school students from the same school in Guadalupe County. The first two students became ill in early April. Test results confirmed swine flu in both students on April 23. The third student did not become ill until this past week; lab results are still pending. Based on interviews, there is no direct connection between the first two students and the third. Two of the three cases in Texas have recovered well without the need for further medical intervention.
The length of time between the known cases and the lack of connection leads the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) to conclude that other cases may have occurred and gone undiagnosed. DSHS has contacted other students that have been absent from the school since April 11; eight students were absent due to flu-like illness. DSHS is currently investigating these cases.
"There is a reasonable chance that the current swine flu situation will not expand," DSHS Commissioner David Lakey said. "However, we must take prudent steps to ensure the state is prepared if it does. In addition to the antiviral medications previously purchased by the state, these additional medications will be available for the state as appropriate to prevent further spread of the virus."
While swine flu cases have also been reported in Mexico, at this time, no link has been confirmed between the U.S. and Mexico cases, but this investigation is ongoing.
The state is coordinating with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), as well as local and state health officials. Officials are closely monitoring the situation and investigating any possible links to confirmed cases in California and Mexico. Perry also informed DHS Secretary Napolitano in a phone call today of his request to the CDC.
Symptoms of swine flu in people are similar to those of regular or seasonal flu and include fever, fatigue, lack of appetite and coughing. Some with swine flu also have reported runny nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
Health officials say everyone should follow standard precautions to reduce the spread of any respiratory illness.
•Stay home when you are sick to avoid spreading illness to others.
•Cough or sneeze into the crook of your elbow or a tissue and properly dispose of used tissues.
•Wash hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and warm water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
For additional information on the swine flu, please visit:
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