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Governor Says State Taking Every Action to Slow Potential Spread of Disease



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE             CONTACT: Rich Harris, 860-524-7313

April 28, 2009                                                  


            Governor M. Jodi Rell today announced that while Connecticut still has no confirmed cases of swine flu, two probable cases have been identified and samples from the affected individuals sent to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for further testing.


            The two cases – both involving adults who reported recent travel in Mexico – were identified in Stratford and Southbury. Both of the affected individuals are recovering and neither required hospitalization.


            Also today, the superintendent of schools in East Haddam ordered the three schools there closed after two members of a family that had recently traveled to Cancun, Mexico, became ill. A third, younger child also became sick. The schools will be closed for a thorough cleaning and then be reopened.


            “This may be an overabundance of caution – but caution is the word of the day,” Governor Rell said. “We are taking every action to identify and treat swine flu cases in Connecticut. This is likely to be a long-term effort, and this illness is likely to eventually touch every state in the nation in some way. But we continue to work closely with our federal partners and others states to aggressively slow the spread of swine flu in Connecticut. The bottom line is straightforward: We are prepared.


            “People should be aware of the situation, watchful of their own health and the health of their family,” the Governor said. “Our Department of Public Health has established a panel of experts on infectious diseases and reached out to emergency rooms and doctors all over the state to increase monitoring. I am getting twice-daily updates from DPH Commissioner Dr. J. Robert Galvin and I have formally asked the federal government for additional anti-viral medications to be allocated to our state as a precaution. The 134,000 courses of treatment, as well as masks and other equipment, augment 11,000 treatment courses we already have stockpiled.


            “We are keeping families informed every step of the way,” Governor Rell said. “When we have information, we will pass it along immediately.”


            Symptoms of swine flu in people are similar to those of regular, or seasonal, flu and include fever, fatigue, lack of appetite and coughing. Some with swine flu also have reported runny nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.


            “The best thing the public can do to protect themselves and prevent the spread of the flu is to take simple steps,” stated DPH Commissioner J. Robert Galvin. “Simple things like staying home if you are sick, covering your cough or sneeze, or washing your hands will make a big difference in reducing the spread of the disease.”


            People who become ill with influenza-like symptoms may want to contact their health care provider, particularly if they are worried about their symptoms. Their health care provider will determine whether influenza testing or treatment is needed. People who are experiencing severe distress should immediately contact their health care provider.


            Swine influenza is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A influenza viruses. Outbreaks of swine flu happen regularly in pigs. People do not normally get swine flu, but human infections can and do happen. Most commonly, human cases of swine flu happen in people who are around pigs but it is possible for swine flu viruses to spread from person to person. Swine flu is not transmitted by food and you cannot get swine flu by eating pork products.




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