Swine flu reaches Coconino County

H1N1 virus strikes Tuba City man

FLAGSTAFF - Coconino County Health Department (CCHD) officials announced today the first case of H1N1 (swine) flu in Coconino County. The Arizona Department of Health Services Lab confirmed that a 24 year-old male from the Navajo Nation has tested positive for the illness. The man went to the Tuba City Regional Health Care Corporation Emergency Department with flu-like symptoms and was tested. He is now recovering from the illness.

As of May 20, the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) reported 452 confirmed cases and three H1N1 (swine) flu related deaths in Arizona. There are no other confirmed H1N1 (swine) flu cases in Coconino County.

The CCHD is closely monitoring the H1N1 (swine) flu situation in coordination with the Navajo Nation Division of Health, ADHS and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CCHD is also working with Coconino County schools to monitor absences and respiratory illness and to promote good health habits among students and staff members.

There are things that everyone can do to help them stay healthy. The CCHD and the Navajo Nation Division of Health recommend the following preventative measures:

• Sneeze or cough into your sleeve; this is the preferred method of covering your cough. If you can't do this, cover your mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, and wash your hands afterwards.

• Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

• Try to avoid close contact with sick people.

• If you get sick, stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.

The symptoms of H1N1 (swine) flu are similar to the symptoms of regular human flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people have reported diarrhea and vomiting in addition to the respiratory symptoms associated with swine flu. Like seasonal flu, swine flu may cause a worsening of underlying chronic medical conditions.

Health officials advise individuals who develop mild influenza-like-illness (ILI) (fever with either cough or sore throat) to stay at home, to get lots of rest and drink plenty of fluids. Persons who experience more serious symptoms and need to seek medical care should contact their health care providers to report illness (by telephone or other remote means) before seeking care at a clinic, physician's office, or hospital. Those with severe symptoms (see below) who have difficulty breathing or shortness of breath or are believed to be severely ill should seek immediate medical attention.

In children emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:

• Fast breathing or trouble breathing

• Bluish skin color

• Not drinking enough fluids

• Not waking up or not interacting

• Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held

• Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough

• Fever with a rash

In adults, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:

• Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath

• Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen

• Sudden dizziness

• Confusion

• Severe or persistent vomiting

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has created a Web site with information and updates. Visit www.cdc.gov/flu/swine or call 1-800-CDC-INFO.

Information is also available on the CCHD website at www.coconino.az.gov/health or by calling the CCHD Flu Information Line at (928) 679-7300 or toll-free at 1-877-679-7272.

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