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The 2 probable cases reflect one youth and one adult. Mike Bacon, Public Health Director for Winnebago County, “We are facing an extended influenza season as a result of this new virus, and such, we will likely see some growth in case numbers”.
 
The Illinois Department of Public Health is reporting today, 22 probable and 258 confirmed cases in 13 counties throughout the State of Illinois.
 
“Our focus is to keep sick people away from healthy people. Children and/or staff who are sick will need to stay home for seven days from the onset of symptoms, even if symptoms go away sooner. The symptoms of the H1N1 Influenza illness are very similar to seasonal influenza. Those symptoms include fever of 100.4°F or above, cough, sore throat, body aches, chills and fatigue. In some cases vomiting and diarrhea have been reported as a symptom.” states Mike Bacon. The Winnebago County Health Department recommends individuals experiencing these symptoms consult their healthcare provider for further instructions.

Everyone has a role in minimizing the impact of this outbreak. It is very important to teach our children what we all need to do to prevent spread of the virus:
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with the crook or your elbow or a tissue.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. If water is not near, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Try not to touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs often spread this way.
Based on new information on observed illness in school-aged children throughout the United States, the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has changed their guidance regarding school closures. Also, newinformation on disease severity and the extent of community spread warrant revision of the school closure guidance.In Winnebago County, the Health Department will continue to work on illness incidence in schools using the newly revise guidance from CDC and the Illinois Department of Public Health.
 
The Winnebago County Health Department continues to operate a Phone Bank for Winnebago County residents
to call for more information on the Novel HINI Influenza.
  • The Phone Bank number is: (815) 720-4242. Information is provided in both English and Spanish. Approximately 340 calls have come into the Phone Bank since its opening on April 29, 2009.
  • The WCHD Phone Bank is open will be open Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. The Illinois Department of Public Health is operating a Hotline from 6 a.m. - 10 p.m. daily at 1-866-848-2094 (English) and 1-866-2138 (Espanol) 
  • The CDC is operating a 24/7 Information Hotline at: 1-800-232-4636.
  • For further information, visit CDC at: www.cdc.gov/flu/swine or IDPH at www.idph.state.il.us/.
  • Please visit the WCHD website for local and regularly updated information from many resources atwww.wchd.org.
 
# # # - 5/07/09 - 11:00 a.m.