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Swine Flu (H1N1) testing not needed unless symptoms present

Statement of Governor Sonny Perdue Regarding Confirmed H1N1 Flu Case in Georgia

The first confirmed swine flu case has been reported in LaGrange, a city north of Columbus. According to WSB-TV (Atlanta), the infected patient, a 30-year-old female, is from Kentucky, but was visiting family members in LaGrange after returning from a trip to Cancun, Mexico on April 21. She has been hospitalized in LaGrange since April 26.

ATLANTA – Governor Sonny Perdue issued the following statement today regarding the first H1N1 flu case in Georgia being confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control:

“Today’s confirmed case of the H1N1 flu in Georgia is a reason for precaution, not panic. I want to stress that it is an isolated case appearing in a woman visiting our state for an event who had also recently traveled to Mexico. The State of Georgia has worked diligently over the past several years to prepare for a situation like this, and we are partnering with local and federal officials to respond appropriately. I encourage Georgians to follow the advice of public health professionals and take the recommended precautions to protect themselves and their families. At this stage, the simplest things – washing hands and using disinfectants – can be the most effective safeguards. I am confident in our planning and preparation and our ability to respond over the coming days.”

The most up-to-date information on H1N1 flu developments in Georgia is available at the Division of Public Health’s website at http://health.state.ga.us/swineflu/. ######

Swine Flu (H1N1) testing not needed unless fever, other specific symptoms present

Mounting concerns about swine flu, also known as the H1N1 virus, are prompting residents to ask about testing – but tests aren’t needed except for patients with specific symptoms outlined by the National Centers for Disease Control, says Southwest Health District Health Director Dr. Jacqueline Grant. “Today as Georgia has its first confirmed H1N1 case, it is more important than ever to be aware of the news and to follow public health instructions,” Grant said. “The CDC has set specific criteria for healthcare providers that must be met for Swine Flu tests to be administered. If a patient fails to meet these criteria, swabs should not be taken and may not be processed by the lab.” The positive case in Georgia is a 30-year-old woman from Kentucky who had visited Cancun, Mexico. She is hospitalized. Her family was tested for Swine Flu and came back negative. The criteria:

Must have a fever of 100 degrees F or higher, a cough and/or sore throat and other flu-like symptoms

Must live in an area with a confirmed case of Swine Flu or have visited an area with a confirmed case within the past seven days or be in close contact (such as a family member) of someone with a confirmed case of Swine Flu.

“We want to emphasize that the same recommendations we have been making: to stay home if you are sick; to keep sick children at home; to wash hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water and to see your healthcare provider if you have severe symptoms,” Grant said. “Swine influenza is a respiratory disease of pigs that has had limited transmission to humans in the past. What concerns us about this particular swine flu – H1N1 – is that we are seeing person-to-person transmission,” Grant said. The virus is spread mainly through coughing and sneezing, she said. For now, there are no plans to call for schools to close or for people to avoid large gatherings, she said. For more information about swine flu (H1N1) go online to www.southwestgeorgiapublichealth.org or visit the CDC website, www.cdc.gov/swineflu/. ###