30 cases tested for swine flu in Wisconsin - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

30 cases tested for swine flu in Wisconsin

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By Ashley Gatz

WISCONSIN (WAOW) -- The Wisconsin Department of Health Services is keeping a close eye on swine flu in the badger state.

The department will be providing a daily report and will post them on http://pandemic.wisconsin.gov/.

Officials confirm that the state has tested 30 cases but all of them have come back negative for swine flu.

Their report for Tuesday, April 28th is as follows:

On Friday April 24th, the Division of Public Health learned that a new influenza virus most closely related to swine (or pig) influenza had infected people in California, Texas, and Mexico.

Most had no contact with pigs.

It is now evident that this new virus is spreading from person to person.

   • Since then it has spread to include 64 laboratory-confirmed cases in the U.S., including also cases in New York State, Ohio, and Kansas. It is considered likely to be relatively widespread in the U.S.  

   • Cases in the US have all survived, and only 5 have been hospitalized. In contrast, there have been many cases of pneumonia and some deaths in Mexico. The reasons for this difference are still under investigation.  

   • On Monday, April 27th, CDC issued an advisory on travel to Mexico that recommends postpone of nonessential travel.  

   • On Monday, April 27th, the World Health Organization raised its pandemic threat level to Four from Three. Level 6 indicates a full scale pandemic.  

   • Severity of illness from a new virus often changes with time. We cannot know if it will become more dangerous or more mild.  

   • Vaccinations given this winter for the "regular" seasonal human influenza will likely not have much effect against this new virus. However, one class of anti-viral medicines may reduce the length and severity of illness.  

DPH Incident Command  

   • The Division of Public Health activated its Incident Command structure and opened its Emergency Operations Center on Sunday, April 26th. The EOC Phone center to triage calls was activated on Tuesday, April 28th.  

   • Tom Sieger, DPH Deputy Division Administrator, currently serves as Incident Commander until Noon, April 29th.  

   • Scripts have been developed for persons staffing the DPH EOC phone bank. Additional personnel have been requested and coordination efforts are underway to staff the DPH EOC phone center in response to the swine flu outbreak. Four disciplines are needed which include: Epidemiologists, Public Health Nurses, Admin Support and Public Health Educators  

   • Very high volume of clinical calls  

   • Established phone bank at Division of Public Health 8:00-4:30  

   • Coordinating with 211 to begin answering calls 24/7 (multilingual capability)  

   • Staffing phone bank with Spanish speaking staff and clinical staff  

   • Coordinating with DPI on messaging for schools  

   • The DPH EOC is currently open.  

Wisconsin Case Status  

   • As of 3:30 pm on April 28th, no cases of swine flu have been confirmed in Wisconsin    

   • State health officials and local health departments continue to work closely with clinical providers to identify and test suspect cases.  

DPH Activities   

   • DPH is continuing its surveillance and is investigating suspected cases.  

   • DPH is working with local health departments, infection control experts and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  

   • DPH has sent out information and guidance on how to properly collect laboratory specimens and how to submit them to the state laboratory. The division has also offered guidance on isolation procedures.  

   • DPH will conduct on an "as-needed" basis a partner teleconference 3 times weekly to provide updates and answer questions. Prior notification of a call will occur by 8:30 a.m. on the day of the call.  

   • Health Officers are asked to report their confirmed and probable cases to DPH.  

Strategic National Stockpile  

   • Receipt Stage Store (RSS) warehouse is ready for receipt of SNS assets  

   • Volunteers from the RSS warehouse are available 24 hours to off load SNS assets   

   • No additional state assets are needed at this time to support delivery of SNS assets  

   • Law enforcement agencies involved in the SNS delivery have been briefed and are ready

Online Reporter: Ashley Gatz

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