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Swine Flu Outbreak Mostly Has Mild Symptoms in New York

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As of today, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is reporting 3,352 human H1N1 (swine flu) infections in the United States, with 192 in New York State. CDC continues to issue and update interim guidance daily in response to the rapidly evolving situation.

Commissioner of Health Richard Daines, M.D., issued a statement characterizing the swine flu outbreak in New York State as involving mild to moderate symptoms, similar to seasonal flu. He said that there have been hundreds, if not thousands, more cases of H1N1 than what have been submitted to laboratories for testing, because many individuals with mild symptoms do not go to a physician or hospital, but instead recover at home.

The Department of Health (DOH) and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) continue to update their guidance for hospitals as the situation progresses. Below are links to the most current New York State updates.

· DOH: Health Advisory: Update #4, issued May 7, replaces all previously released H1N1 virus health advisories. This guidance is intended for providers seeing patients outside of New York City.

· DOHMH: Health Alert #17, issued May 12, provides an epidemiologic update on the outbreak in New York City, revised reporting requirements, revised guidance on diagnostic testing, revised guidance on antiviral treatment for influenza and febrile respiratory illness, and updated guidance on antiviral prophylaxis for exposures to influenza and febrile respiratory illness. Providers should regularly check the DOHMH Web page for updated information and recommendations.

Hospitals have been notified and provided guidance for the new DOH H1N1 daily survey and additions to the weekly survey through the Health Provider Network (HPN). HPN coordinators and others responsible for responding to HERDS surveys should ensure that their information in the DOH Communication Directory is up to date. HANYS urges hospitals to regularly check HPN for additional information. Contact: Christopher Smith

Published May 13, 2009