Second H1N1 case reported in county

Monday, August 3, 2009

A second case of the 2009 H1N1 Influenza A virus has been confirmed in Bourbon County.

According to the Bourbon County Emergency Management Office, a second case of the virus, commonly referred to as swine flu, was confirmed on Thursday. The new case was diagnosed in a child living in Bourbon County, and is not related to the first local case of the virus, which was diagnosed late last week in a Bourbon County adult, Bourbon County Public Health Nurse Alice Maffett said.

This new case brings the total number of Kansas counties affected by the virus to 36, with laboratory-confirmed evidence of 228 H1N1 flu infections since the first cases were reported in Kansas on April 25.

Southeast Kansas Multi-County Health Department is following the guidance provided by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment when dealing with a confirmed case. This includes a thorough case investigation and management of the patient and close contacts.

KDHE is reminding community members to receive their seasonal flu vaccination as soon as it becomes available this year to help be better protected during the upcoming flu season. Further information regarding the H1N1 flu vaccination will be made available in the coming months, according to a statement from Bourbon County Emergency Manager Keith Jeffers.

As of July 29, KDHE had listed 228 confirmed cases in Kansas. In all cases, SEK Multi-County Health Department is following the guidance provided by KDHE and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Bourbon County Health Department is continuing to work with other health care providers to identify cases and interrupt the chain of virus transmission wherever it is found. It is important to be aware of the symptoms of this novel flu and to be informed that it is in Bourbon County, according to the statement from Jeffers.

Symptoms of the 2009 H1N1 Influenza A virus are similar to the symptoms of seasonal flu and include: fever greater than 100 degrees, body aches, coughing, sore throat, respiratory congestion, and in some cases, diarrhea and vomiting.

Individuals that experience symptoms such as these should contact their health care provider, who will determine whether testing or treatment is needed. There is no vaccine currently available to protect against the 2009 H1N1 Influenza A virus, but there are effective treatments available once the infection is diagnosed.

A vaccine is currently being tested, and is expected to be available for voluntary vaccinations by mid-October. Recommendation information for groups that should receive these vaccinations when available can be found on the Web site, www.flu.gov.

The site lists the following risk groups to receive the vaccination first upon availability:

* Pregnant women.

* Health care workers and emergency medical responders.

* People caring for infants younger than 6 months of age.

* Children and young adults from 6 months to 24 years of age.

* People between 25 and 64 years of age who have underlying medical conditions such as asthma or diabetes.

As with any influenza virus, illness is spread by respiratory droplets from a cough or sneeze, or from heavy breathing while performing strenuous activities, from one person to another. The H1N1 virus cannot be contracted by eating pork meat products.

The Bourbon County Emergency Management Office, the Bourbon County Public Health Office, and the Kansas Department of Emergency Management are working with KDHE and the CDC to ensure that planning for the H1N1 virus is complete and ready for any renewed outbreaks.

For more information, contact Jeffers at (620) 223-3800, extension 46, or by e-mail at kjeffers@bourboncountyks.org