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Swine Flu Outbreak Mostly Has Mild Symptoms in New York

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Commissioner of Health Richard Daines, M.D., issued a statement characterizing the outbreak of H1N1 (swine flu) 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.

As of 11 a.m. today, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is reporting 1,639 human infections in the United States, with 171 in New York State. CDC continues to issue and update interim guidance daily in response to the rapidly evolving situation.

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

· New York State Department of Health: 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.

· New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene: Health Alert #16, issued May 6, provides updated infection control recommendations.

Refer to Health Alerts #13, #14, and #15 for information on current reporting requirements, laboratory diagnostic testing guidance, antiviral treatment, and prophylaxis recommendations.

Hospitals have been notified and provided guidance for the new H1N1 daily survey and additions to the weekly survey through the Health Provider Network (HPN). Contact: Christopher Smith

Published May 8, 2009