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CDC Responds to Swine Flu Outbreak Among Humans

Published: April 27, 2009

CDC staffers in the Emergency Operations Center
More than 200 CDC personnel are working to coordinate the agency's response to this emerging health threat.

Last week the CDC activated its Emergency Operations Center to augment the CDC ongoing investigation of human cases of swine influenza A (H1N1). As of Monday, April 27th, 2009, 40 human cases of this novel virus infection have been identified in the United States.

CDC is working very closely with officials in states where human cases of swine influenza A (H1N1) have been identified, as well as with health officials in Mexico, Canada and the World Health Organization. This includes the deployment of CDC personnel to aid epidemiological efforts in California and Texas and to support Mexico's Ministry of Health.

More than 250 CDC professionals are working from the CDC EOC as part of the agency's response to this emerging health threat. Yesterday the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, declared a public health emergency in the United States, allowing federal funds to be released to support the public health response.

CDC's goals during this public health emergency are to reduce transmission and illness severity, and provide information to assist health care providers, public health officials and the public to address the challenges posed by this newly identified influenza virus.

Mark Papania, medical epidemiologist, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, works on a vaccine delivery system.
Mark Papania, medical epidemiologist, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, works on a vaccine delivery system. Photo by James Gathany

CDC has issued a number of interim guidance documents in the past 24 hours. In addition, CDC's Division of the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) is releasing one-quarter of its antiviral drugs, personal protective equipment, and respiratory protection devices to help states respond to the outbreak. Laboratory testing has found the swine influenza A (H1N1) virus susceptible to the prescription antiviral drugs oseltamivir and zanamivir. This is a rapidly evolving situation and CDC will provide updated guidance and new information as it becomes available at http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/.

Questions such as "What should I do to keep from getting the flu?" and others are answered at the http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/ website. CDC recommends, first and most important: wash your hands. Try to stay in good general health. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food. Try not to touch surfaces that may be contaminated with the flu virus. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

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