April 27, 2009
The United States Government has recently declared a public health emergency in relation to the outbreak of several cases of swine influenza. This type of influenza is titled as such because the genetic structure of the virus is the same type that affects pigs. As of Monday April 27, 2009, twenty cases of this virus have been reported within the U.S. No cases within the U.S. have been fatal and none have been reported within the State of Illinois.
The public health emergency that has been declared is strictly precautionary at this time. The declaration allows government on the State and Federal levels easier access to medications, testing, information gathering and resources needed for further planning if deemed necessary. The Village of Downers Grove, as well as the DuPage County Office of Emergency Management, has operational plans in place if needed and are both closely monitoring the situation.
Influenza is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected people. To maintain good health and to avoid transmission of any flu virus, the following practices are recommended:
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hands cleaners are also effective.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
- Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
- If you get sick, it is recommended that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.
- DuPage County Health Department (630) 682-7400
- DuPage County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management
- Illinois Department of Public Health
- Centers for Disease Control website.