Monday, May 4, 2009

Swine Flu Update

Dear Friend,

This has been a week of fast-breaking developments in the swine flu issue, and I want to share the latest information I have on the subject.

First and foremost, while there are currently no confirmed cases in Los Angeles County, that is likely to change in the days ahead. However, there is no reason for alarm. Those in the U.S. who have contracted swine flu continue to exhibit only mild to moderate symptoms. As you have probably heard, the World Health Organization (WHO) raised the pandemic level to Phase 5. This reflects the fact that clusters of cases have been found in several countries around the world, increasing the chances that the illness will spread. This description does not reflect the current situation in LA County.

This phase-level change underscores the importance of these common sense precautions to minimize the spread of illness in our communities: stay home if you’re sick, wash your hands often, cover your coughs, and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

The latest California Department of Public Health swine flu update states there are now 17 confirmed cases and 55 more probable cases statewide, though the numbers are constantly changing. For a wide range of reliable and up-to-date information, please check back periodically on the CDPH swine flu home page. The federal Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta provides important updates on national trends in the swine flu pandemic on its CDC swine flu home page; in addition, you can sign up for CDC swine flu updates through Twitter.

Our County Department of Public Health (LADPH) is closely monitoring the situation in conjunction with state and federal officials. and LADPH cautions in the current LADPH swine flu update against overmedicating with antiviral drugs or unnecessary ER visits for routine cold or flu symptoms which usually resolve on their own.

  • Wash your hands often.

  • Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze. If you do not have a tissue, use your sleeve, not your hands.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

  • If you're ill, stay home and away from other people as much as possible. Get plenty of rest and check with your doctor.

  • Get an annual flu shot.

To learn more, please see our Department of Public Health’s Frequently Asked Questions page about the swine flu and check back periodically on the Department of Public Health's website and the DPH YouTube channel.

My best wishes for your continued good health,

Supervisor, Third District