BATON ROUGE— State officials are now investigating six new suspected cases of the H1N1 (swine flu) virus, including three cases in Lafourche Parish, one case in Lafayette Parish, one in Iberia Parish and one in St. Martin Parish. This brings the total number of suspected cases currently under investigation in Louisiana to 27. None of the 27 cases are in the hospital.
Samples of the six new suspected cases tested positive for type A Influenza, which could indicate either seasonal or the H1N1 virus. The H1N1 virus subtype is confirmed by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lab tests. Specimens for all suspected cases have been sent to the CDC lab in Atlanta for confirmation. The CDC is telling states to expect a high rate of confirmations, as they are confirming the H1N1 virus in 99 percent of cases sent to them for testing.
The six new suspected cases include three cases in Lafourche Parish: two are adults and one is a child who is not in school; one case involves an adult in Lafayette; one is a student in Iberia Parish who attends Catholic High School in New Iberia (which officials are not recommending for closure, due to no other known illnesses at the school and in accordance with the updated CDC guidance); one case involves an adult in St. Martin Parish.
LDH Secretary Alan Levine said, “Given the information we are collecting on the ground that indicates other students are not sick at the school, and in accordance with the CDC’s updated guidance today, we do not see the need to close Catholic High School in Lafayette related to this newest suspected Iberia Parish case. We continue to base our recommendations along the best and newest guidance from the CDC and the best information available to our state epidemiologists on the ground. Today, we also notified officials in the effected parishes of the updated guidance the CDC recently released related to school closures.”
The state lab has received 1,084 specimens since the first presence of the H1N1 virus and a total of 554 specimens have been tested.
SUSPECTED H1N1 CASES
- Lafayette - 17 (up from 16 yesterday)
- Lafourche – 3 (ALL NEW SUSPECTED CASES)
- Beauregard Parish - 1
- Iberia – 2 (up from one)
- Livingston – 1 (same case reported yesterday from Ascension due to information from the provider there, although this individual resides in Livingston)
- Orleans – 1
- St. Landry – 1
- St. Martin – 1
TOTAL – 27
CDC-CONFIRMED H1N1 CASES
- Lafayette Parish – 5
- Ascension – 1
- Orleans – 1
TOTAL – 7
CDC-NEGATIVE H1N1 CASES
- St. Martin – 1
- St. Tammany - 1
TOTAL – 2
CDC Announces New Guidance for Schools Today
The CDC issued new guidance today for schools and childcare facilities on responding to human infections of H1N1 virus. Among the CDC’s revised recommendations are:
- School closure is not advised for a suspected or confirmed case of novel influenza A (H1N1) and, in general, is not advised unless there is a magnitude of faculty or student absenteeism that interferes with the school’s ability to function.
- Schools that were closed based on previous interim CDC guidance related to this outbreak may reopen.
- Students, faculty or staff with influenza-like illness (fever with a cough or sore throat) should stay home and not attend school or go into the community except to seek medical care for at least seven days even if symptoms resolve sooner.
- Students, faculty and staff who are still sick seven days after they become ill should continue to stay home from school until at least 24 hours after symptoms have resolved.
To read the complete CDC revised guidance for schools and childcare centers, please visithttp://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu.
Protecting Your Family
Make sure you:
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
- Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
- Avoid close contact with sick people.
- If you get sick with influenza, CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.
Symptoms of the H1N1 virus (swine flu) include:
- Fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue.
- If you are experiencing these symptoms, consult your doctor as soon as possible for advice on treatment.
Visit www.FluLa.com for the latest information on the H1N1 virus.