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H1N1 Flu Vaccine Update - Nov. 4, 2009

posted Nov 9, 2009, 2:45 PM by Santa Clara County Public Health Dept

Today and tomorrow, 85 private and public medical providers in the County will receive just over 10,000 doses of the H1N1 vaccine. Over the next weeks and months, supplies of the H1N1 vaccine will continue to be shipped into Santa Clara County, but for the time being these quantities still represent a limited amount for our community and are below what we need to vaccinate the groups at highest risk of illness and complications.

The list of these providers will not be published. With these 85 providers and the Kaiser system with vaccine, people at higher risk for illness or complications from this flu should contact their medical providers to check if the vaccine is available to them.

“With limited supplies of the H1N1 flu vaccine, it’s important for those of us who are healthy to wait until the vaccine is widely available,” said Ken Yeager, Santa Clara County Supervisor. “Most healthy people who get sick from this virus will recover without any medical care. But people who are at risk for complications could end up hospitalized or worse, so it is very important to get them the vaccine first.”

Due to limited supplies of the H1N1 vaccine, the Public Health Department is recommending the following groups get the vaccine first:
  • Pregnant women
  • Children and young adults between the ages of 6 months and 24 years
  • People who live with or provide care for infants under 6 months
  • Adults between the ages of 25 and 64 years who have medical conditions that put them at risk for serious illness and death from the H1N1 flu virus
  • Healthcare and emergency service care workers
People not in one of these groups are being asked to wait until more H1N1 vaccine is available.

The PHD is holding the first clinic for the groups listed above on November 7th at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds. Other public clinics with limited supplies of the vaccine are listed on the department’s web site. Once more vaccine arrives to the public healthcare system, additional clinic times and locations will be added to the schedule.

See also:

Public Health Department Offers Guidelines If You Become Sick with Flu Symptoms - Nov. 4, 2009

posted Nov 9, 2009, 2:29 PM by Santa Clara County Public Health Dept

San Jose, Ca. – Over the next few weeks, supplies of the H1N1 influenza vaccine will continue to be limited. The Santa Clara County Public Health Department (PHD) has been informed that 85 Santa Clara County private and public medical providers will be receiving vaccine this week, but the quantities are still going to be limited.

“With limited supplies of the H1N1 flu vaccine, it’s important for those of us who are healthy to wait until the vaccine is widely available,” said Ken Yeager, Santa Clara County Supervisor. “Most healthy people who get sick from this virus will recover without any medical care. But people who are at risk for complications could end up hospitalized or worse, so it is very important to get them the vaccine first.”

Due to limited supplies of the H1N1 vaccine, the PHD is recommending the following groups get the vaccine first:
  • Pregnant women
  • Children and young adults between the ages of 6 months and 24 years
  • People who live with or provide care for infants under 6 months
  • Adults between the ages of 25 and 64 years who have medical conditions that put them at risk for serious illness and death from the H1N1 flu virus
  • Healthcare and emergency service care workers
The PHD will hold a clinic for the groups listed above on November 7th at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds. People not in one of these groups are being asked to wait until more H1N1 vaccine is available. Other public clinics with very limited supplies of the vaccine are listed on the department’s web site.

Since many Santa Clara County residents have been unable to get vaccinated and are concerned, the Public Health Department has provided the following guidelines about what to do when sick with the H1N1 flu and when to seek medical care.

Conduct a health check every day. If you or your child begins to show flu-like symptoms, stay home from school or work and monitor the illness. H1N1 flu symptoms can come on quickly and usually include fever (over 100 ºF), cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and extreme tiredness. Many people who have been infected with the H1N1 virus have also reported diarrhea and vomiting.

Get plenty of rest and make sure to drink lots of water and other clear liquids. You can treat fevers and aches with over-the-counter flu medicines. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Stay home until you no longer have a fever for at least 24 hours – without taking any fever-reducing medications. Most healthy people who get sick with H1N1 will recover without medical treatment.

If you are in one of the following groups, you should contact your medical provider at the first signs of flu-like illness and talk to them about getting antiviral medications:
  • Pregnant women and mothers with infants less than 2 weeks old
  • Children younger than 2 years old
  • People with chronic medical conditions or weakened immune systems
  • People younger than 19 years old and on long-term aspirin therapy
  • People over 65 years of age
The Public Health Department has provided guidelines to the local medical community to treat these groups of people with antiviral medications. Antiviral medications (pills, liquid, or inhaler) decrease the ability of flu viruses to reproduce. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), antiviral medications should be started within two days after becoming sick. When used this way, these medications can reduce the severity of flu symptoms and prevent serious flu complications.

If you are a healthy person and get sick with the flu, call your doctor right way if:
  • Your symptoms get worse
  • You have shortness of breath
  • You get dehydrated from vomiting and/or diarrhea
Get immediate medical attention, (e.g. to the emergency room) if you are having:
  • Trouble breathing
  • Seizures
  • Chest pain
  • Continued vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Symptoms improve and then return with a fever and worse cough
While we wait for more vaccine, there is a lot you can do to flight the flu: wash your hands frequently and use hand sanitizers; keep your hands away from your eyes, nose and mouth; stay away from sick people; and keep surfaces clean around your home and work area. For more information about the H1N1 flu and vaccination clinics, please visit www.sccphd.org.

Contact: Joy Alexiou 408-595-2936
Public Information Officer
Santa Clara County Public Health Department

H1N1 Flu Vaccine Update – Oct. 30, 2009

posted Nov 9, 2009, 2:26 PM by Santa Clara County Public Health Dept

As of October 28th, 435 people in Santa Clara County have been hospitalized with serious complications related to the H1N1 influenza virus and 13 have died since May. In California, there have been 4,047 hospitalizations and 249 deaths.

Hospitalizations and death are expected during a flu pandemic since people have no or little immunity to this new flu virus. The number of hospitalizations and deaths in our community will continue to increase throughout the fall and winter months. While the virus continues to spread, it is important to remember that most people who have been sick with the H1N1 virus have recovered without needing medical treatment. For those at high risk for serious complications from the H1N1 flu and who are still waiting to be vaccinated, early treatment with antiviral medications is the best way to avoid severe illness from the flu.

The H1N1 vaccine will provide the best protection from the H1N1 flu. Four public vaccination clinics for those at high risk and those who care for high risk individuals are now scheduled on November 7, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Those at high risk for complications can attend these clinics, and those groups are:
  • Pregnant women;
  • People who live with or provide care for infants under six months;
  • Children and young adults between the ages of 6 months and 24 years;
  • Adults between the ages of 25 and 64 years who have medical conditions that put them at higher risk for flu-related complications; and,
  • Healthcare and emergency medical services workers.
Because the vaccine supply is so limited at this time, it is important that persons not belonging to one of the five groups above wait to be vaccinated so that those at highest risk of severe illness can get the vaccine.

The Saturday locations are:

Santa Clara County Fairgrounds
Expo Hall
334 Tully Road
San Jose, CA 95111

Valley Health Center Gilroy
7475 Camino Arroyo
Gilroy, CA 95128

Valley Health Center Moorpark
2400 Moorpark Avenue
San Jose, CA 95128

Valley Health Center Sunnyvale
660 S. Fair Oaks Avenue
Sunnyvale, CA 94086

If a person who is at high risk and hasn’t yet been able to get the vaccine gets sick with the H1N1 flu, antiviral medications can help stop the virus before severe illness occurs. Flu symptoms usually come on suddenly, so at the first sign of illness, those at high risk should contact their healthcare provider.

H1N1 flu symptoms typically include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and extreme tiredness. Many people who have been infected with the H1N1 virus also have reported diarrhea and vomiting.

Flu antiviral medications are prescription drugs (pills, liquid, or inhaler) that decrease the ability of flu viruses to reproduce. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), antiviral medications should be started within two days after becoming sick. When used this way, these medications can reduce the severity of flu symptoms and prevent serious flu complications.

While the vaccine is the best way to avoid getting sick with the flu, you can also reduce your chances of getting sick by washing your hands frequently and using hand sanitizers; keeping your hands away from your eyes, nose and mouth; staying away from sick people; and regularly cleaning surfaces around your home and work area.

The H1N1 virus is spread when droplets are coughed or sneezed into the air by an infected person and someone nearby breathes them in. The virus can also spread when a person touches a surface like a door handle or table top where these droplets have landed and then touches their eyes, nose or mouth.

For more information about the H1N1 flu and vaccination clinics offered by the Santa Clara County Public Health Department, visit www.sccphd.org.

H1N1 Hospitalizations and Deaths, Additional Public Clinics for At-Risk Groups - Oct. 30, 2009

posted Nov 3, 2009, 11:05 AM by Santa Clara County Public Health Dept

San Jose, Ca. – As of October 28th, 435 people in Santa Clara County have been hospitalized with serious complications related to the H1N1 influenza virus and 13 have died since May. In California, there have been 4,047 hospitalizations and 249 deaths.

Hospitalizations and death are expected during a flu pandemic since people have no or little immunity to this new flu virus. The H1N1 flu has been designated a pandemic because it is a worldwide outbreak that spreads easily from person-to-person. The number of hospitalizations and deaths in our community will continue to increase throughout the fall and winter months. While the virus continues to spread, it is important to remember that most people who have been sick with the H1N1 virus have recovered without needing medical treatment. For those at high risk for serious complications from the H1N1 flu and who are still waiting to be vaccinated, early treatment with antiviral medications is the best way to avoid severe illness from the flu.

The H1N1 vaccine will provide the best protection from the H1N1 flu. Four public vaccination clinics for those at high risk and those who care for high risk individuals are now scheduled on November 7, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Those at high risk for complications can attend these clinics, and those groups are:

  • Pregnant women;
  • People who live with or provide care for infants under six months;
  • Children and young adults between the ages of 6 months and 24 years;
  • Adults between the ages of 25 and 64 years who have medical conditions that put them at higher risk for flu-related complications; and,
  • Healthcare and emergency medical services workers.

Because the vaccine supply is so limited at this time, it is important that persons not belonging to one of the five groups above wait to be vaccinated until a later time so that those at highest risk of severe illness can get the vaccine.

The Saturday locations are:

Santa Clara County Fairground
Expo Hall
334 Tully Road
San Jose, CA 95111

Valley Health Center Gilroy
7475 Camino Arroyo
Gilroy, CA 95128

Valley Health Center Moorpark
2400 Moorpark Avenue
San Jose, CA 95128

Valley Health Center Sunnyvale
660 S. Fair Oaks Avenue
Sunnyvale, CA 94086

For those at high risk who aren’t able to get the vaccine and get sick with the H1N1 flu, antiviral medications can help stop the virus before severe illness can occur. Flu symptoms usually come on suddenly, so at the first sign of illness, those at high risk should contact their healthcare provider.

H1N1 flu symptoms typically include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and extreme tiredness. Many people who have been infected with the H1N1 virus also have reported diarrhea and vomiting.

Flu antiviral medications are prescription drugs (pills, liquid, or inhaler) that decrease the ability of flu viruses to reproduce. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), antiviral medications should be started within two days after becoming sick. When used this way, these medications can reduce the severity of flu symptoms and prevent serious flu complications.

The H1N1 virus is spread when droplets are coughed or sneezed into the air by an infected person and someone nearby breathes them in. The virus can also spread when a person touches a surface like a door handle or table top where these droplets have landed and then touches their eyes, nose or mouth.

For more information about the H1N1 flu and vaccination clinics offered by the Santa Clara County Public Health Department, visit www.sccphd.org.

Contact:
Joy Alexiou
408.885.4164
Public Information Officer
Santa Clara County Public Health

H1N1 Flu Vaccination Update - Oct. 29, 2009

posted Nov 3, 2009, 10:28 AM by Santa Clara County Public Health Dept

The Santa Clara County Public Health Department has just received a shipment of 26,000 dosages of the H1N1 vaccine. While the arrival of the vaccine is good news, this still represents a limited supply for Santa Clara County.

Because of the limited supply and the understanding that most medical providers in Santa Clara County have not yet received shipments from the federal government, the Santa Clara County Public Health Department will immediately begin to redistribute vaccine to local medical providers. For the next week, these providers have been instructed to give the vaccine to people who are at highest risk for infection AND serious illness and complications from the H1N1 flu, or care for high risk individuals who cannot receive vaccine:

  • Pregnant women;
  • Children 6 months to 2 years of age;
  • Children and young people 2 to 18 years of age with medical conditions;
  • People who live with or care for infants under the age of 6 months; and,
  • Healthcare and emergency service workers who provide care to those listed above.

Starting on November 7th, the department will begin vaccination clinics for the following groups of people:

  • Pregnant women;
  • People who live with or provide care for infants under six months;
  • Children and young adults between the ages of 6 months and 24 years;
  • Adults between the ages of 25 and 64 years who have medical conditions that put them at higher risk for flu-related complications; and,
  • Healthcare and emergency medical services workers.

The first public clinic for those at highest risk will be held on November 7th from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm and will stay open during this period as long as supplies last. The clinic will be located at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds.

Other clinic locations, dates and times will be added when more shipments of vaccine arrive. Continue to check on the Public Health Department’s web site for updates. When more shipments of vaccine begin to flow into the county, the Public Health Department will notify all public and private healthcare providers when they can begin to vaccinate the general public and no longer need to give the vaccine only to high risk groups

The Santa Clara County Public Health Department shares the public’s concern about the overall availability of the H1N1 vaccine but asks healthy adults to wait until vaccine becomes more readily available. Most healthy people who become sick with the H1N1 will recover without needing any medical attention. People in a high risk group are at greater risk for serious illness and death. That is why early vaccination efforts are focused on getting them the protection the vaccine offers.

If someone who is at high risk for illness or complications from the H1N1 flu has flu symptoms, they should contact their healthcare provider immediately and begin treatment with antiviral medications. Anyone with severe symptoms of flu should contact their medical provider for advice on what to do. The Santa Clara County Public Health Department has provided guidelines to the local medical community recommending immediate treatment with antiviral medications to anyone in a high risk group with flu-like illness. Flu symptoms can come on suddenly, so at the first sign of illness, those at high risk should contact their healthcare provider right away.

H1N1 flu symptoms typically include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and extreme tiredness. Many people who have been infected with the H1N1 virus, especially children, also have reported diarrhea and vomiting.

Flu antiviral medications are prescription drugs (pills, liquid, or inhaler) that decrease the ability of flu viruses to reproduce. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), antiviral medications should be started within two days after becoming sick. When used this way, these medications can reduce the severity of flu symptoms and prevent serious flu complications.

Santa Clara County Public Health Receives H1N1 Vaccine Shipment - Oct. 29, 2009

posted Nov 3, 2009, 10:22 AM by Santa Clara County Public Health Dept

San Jose, Ca. – This morning the Santa Clara County Public Health Department received a shipment of 26,000 dosages of the H1N1 vaccine. While the arrival of the vaccine is good news, this still represents a limited supply for Santa Clara County.

Because of the limited supply and the understanding that most medical providers in Santa Clara County have not yet received shipments from the federal government, the Santa Clara County Public Health Department will immediately begin to redistribute vaccine to local medical providers. For the next week, these providers have been instructed to give the vaccine to people who are at highest risk for infection AND serious illness and complications from the H1N1 flu, or care for high risk individuals who cannot receive vaccine:

  • Pregnant women;
  • Children 6 months to 2 years of age;
  • Children and young people 2 to 18 years of age with medical conditions;
  • People who live with or care for infants under the age of 6 months; and,
  • Healthcare and emergency service workers who provide care to those listed above.

Starting on November 7th, the department will begin vaccination clinics for the following groups of people:

  • Pregnant women;
  • People who live with or provide care for infants under six months;
  • Children and young adults between the ages of 6 months and 24 years;
  • Adults between the ages of 25 and 64 years who have medical conditions that put them at higher risk for flu-related complications; and,
  • Healthcare and emergency medical services workers.

The first public clinic for those at highest risk will be held on November 7th from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm and will stay open during this period as long as supplies last . The clinic will be located at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds. Other clinic locations, dates and times will be added when more shipments of vaccine arrive. Continue to check on the Public Health Department’s web site for updates. When more reliable shipments of vaccine begin to flow into the county, the Public Health Department will notify all public and private healthcare providers when they can begin to vaccinate the general public and no longer need to give the vaccine only to high risk groups.

The Santa Clara County Public Health Department shares the public’s concern about the overall availability of the H1N1 vaccine but asks healthy adults to wait until vaccine becomes more readily available. Most healthy people who become sick with the H1N1 will recover without needing any medical attention. People in a high risk group are at greater risk for serious illness and death. That is why early vaccination efforts are focused on getting them the protection the vaccine offers.

If someone who is at high risk for illness or complications from the H1N1 flu has flu symptoms, they should contact their healthcare provider immediately and begin treatment with antiviral medications. Anyone with severe symptoms of flu should contact their medical provider for advice on what to do. The Santa Clara County Public Health Department has provided guidelines to the local medical community recommending immediate treatment with antiviral medications to anyone in a high risk group with flu-like illness. Flu symptoms can come on suddenly, so at the first sign of illness, those at high risk should contact their healthcare provider right away.

H1N1 flu symptoms typically include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and extreme tiredness. Many people who have been infected with the H1N1 virus, especially children, also have reported diarrhea and vomiting.

Flu antiviral medications are prescription drugs (pills, liquid, or inhaler) that decrease the ability of flu viruses to reproduce. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), antiviral medications should be started within two days after becoming sick. When used this way, these medications can reduce the severity of flu symptoms and prevent serious flu complications.

For more information about the H1N1 flu and vaccination clinics offered by the Santa Clara County Public Health Department, visit www.sccphd.org.

Contact:
Joy Alexiou
408.595.2936
Public Information Officer
Santa Clara County Public Health Department

H1N1 Flu Status Update - Oct. 27, 2009

posted Nov 3, 2009, 10:18 AM by Santa Clara County Public Health Dept

As of October 27, 2009, Santa Clara County had a total of 329 hospitalizations related to the pandemic H1N1 flu, and a total of 10 deaths.

In the last 24 hours, the Public Health Department has received information about our next shipment of the H1N1 vaccine and is expecting 8,800 dosages of the vaccine. This shipment will be a combination of both the nasal spray and shot forms of the vaccine, and it is likely to arrive by the end of the week.

Because this shipment is very limited, it is important to get this shipment of the vaccine to the children and adults at highest risk for the most serious complications. The Public Health Department will be working with local medical providers to get the vaccine to the following:

  • Pregnant women;
  • People who live with or provide care for infants less than 6 months old;
  • Infants and children from 6 months to 2 years of age; and
  • Children and adolescents from 2 years old to 18 years old who have medical conditions that put them at higher risk for flu related complications;
  • Healthcare and emergency medical services workers who provide direct patient care to the list above.

This is a revision of our earlier plans.

Starting November 7th

Because the Public Health Department is expecting additional shipments of the H1N1 vaccine in the next couple of weeks, clinics will be held for the at-risk groups we have outlined earlier.

If you can – please get the H1N1 vaccine from your doctor or regular medical provider. The clinics being held by our public healthcare system will be using their vaccines for high-risk individuals, including those who cannot get their vaccine from their medical provider. To protect as many people in this community as possible, if you can get your vaccine with your own doctor you should do so.

The Public Health Department clinics will be for the following groups,

  • Pregnant women;
  • People who live with or provide care for infants under six months;
  • Healthcare and emergency medical services workers;
  • Children and young adults between the ages of 6 months and 24 years; and,
  • Adults between the ages of 25 and 64 years who have medical conditions that put them at higher risk for flu-related complications.

The H1N1 vaccine will be free at the Public Health Department clinics.

The vaccine should become more readily available in late November and December. Once the demand for vaccine for people at highest risk has been met, the Public Health Department and local providers can begin providing the vaccine to others. It is important to remember - this is the beginning of a long vaccination effort. We thank you for your patience and understanding.

Clinic locations, days, and hours may change based on the vaccine’s availability and public demand. Please check www.sccphd.org for updates to clinic schedules.

Weekends

Times Location
Saturday, November 7
Sunday, November 15
Saturday, November 21
9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Santa Clara County Fairgrounds
EXPO HALL
334 Tully Road
San José, CA 95111
View Map

Vaccination is still the best protection against H1N1. Since a flu pandemic can last for several months and as long as 2 years, many people will continue to be at risk for illness. Getting the vaccine as soon as it becomes available is the best way to protect yourself from H1N1 flu. The H1N1 vaccine provides protection for up to one year after vaccination.

Pandemic H1N1 Flu Vaccine - 1st Shipment Arrived - Oct. 6, 2009

posted Nov 3, 2009, 10:15 AM by Santa Clara County Public Health Dept

San Jose, Ca. - The first doses of H1N1 (swine) flu vaccine have arrived in Santa Clara County health officials reported Tuesday. The initial shipment is about 14,000 doses of H1N1 vaccine in nasal spray form is going to private and public medical providers in the county, as well as to the Public Health Department. By the end of October/early November, more than 200,000 doses of vaccine are expected to be available in Santa Clara County, in both the nasal and shot forms, with more to follow in the coming weeks and months.

This initial shipment is the beginning of a long vaccination effort. Over the next weeks and months, regular shipments of vaccine will arrive in Santa Clara County and it is expected that there will be enough for everyone who wants it.

“We appreciate the public’s patience as we undertake this effort,” said Dr. Marty Fenstersheib, Health Officer. “This vaccination is the best protection against H1N1, which continues to make many people sick and has been related to nine deaths in our county.”

Because the first shipment of vaccine is in nasal spray form, not everyone can receive it. Only healthy people between the ages of 2 and 49 can receive the nasal vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and the California Health Department have identified healthy children between the ages of 2 years and 10 years of age as a priority. The nasal vaccine should not be given to:

  • Children less than 2 years of age
  • Adults 50 years of age and over
  • People with a medical condition that places them at high risk for complications from influenza and people with illnesses that weaken their immune system
  • Children less than 5 years of age with a history of recurrent wheezing
  • Children or adolescents receiving aspirin
  • People with a history of Guillain-Barré syndrome, a rare disorder of the nervous system
  • Pregnant women
  • People who have a severe allergy to chicken eggs or who are allergic to any of the nasal spray vaccine components

Based on the recommendations from the CDC, once the demand for vaccine for people at highest risk for illness or complications has been met, the Public Health Department and local providers can begin providing the vaccine to all others who want it.

Contact:
Joy Alexiou
408-885-4164
408-595-2936

H1N1 Flu Update - Oct. 1, 2009

posted Nov 3, 2009, 10:09 AM by Santa Clara County Public Health Dept

As you may know, pandemic influenza (flu) is a world-wide outbreak caused by a new flu virus. Because this H1N1 virus is a new flu strain and people have little or no immunity and it has spread world-wide, it has been declared a pandemic. At this time the virus seems to be no more severe than what is normally experienced with seasonal flu. But even if this virus does not become more severe, it will infect larger numbers of people, more than we typically see with seasonal flu.

On September 29, the County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors declared a local emergency in response to the pandemic H1N1 virus. The declaration supports the Public Health Department’s response to pandemic H1N1 flu in our community, it makes it possible to redirect and gather additional resources to protect the health of Santa Clara County residents. The Board’s action included allocating $500,000 in funds for flu emergency response efforts.

October is the beginning of the flu season and flu strains are circulating in our community – both seasonal flu strains and the pandemic H1N1 flu. The symptoms of seasonal flu and pandemic H1N1 flu are similar. Symptoms include fever plus other symptoms such as cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Many people with the pandemic H1N1 flu, especially children, also have diarrhea and vomiting. It is important to remember most people who get sick with the pandemic H1N1 flu will get better without any medical attention and will recover at home.

Currently, human cases of flu have been increasing in the United States, including more than 2,000 reported cases of pandemic H1N1 in California. As of October 1st, there have been 159 hospitalized cases and 9 deaths attributed to H1N1 in Santa Clara County. The majority of these patients had underlying medical conditions.

Response and Planning
The overall response to the upcoming flu season will be challenging for the entire community. There will be particular challenges for the Public Health Department, hospitals and clinics, and the medical community. The Public Health Department, working with the entire Health & Hospital System and other partners, has organized the work at-hand into three major areas:

1. Surveillance, epidemiology and laboratory testing. The Public Health Department continues to receive and monitor reports of pandemic H1N1 infections, especially in populations at highest risk. The Public Health Department staff continues to investigate outbreaks and clusters of reported flu infections in settings where people gather together, all across our community.

2. Medical Intervention & Vaccination. H1N1 vaccine manufactures will eventually produce enough vaccine to meet the nation’s need. But at first, vaccine supplies will be limited. The Public Health Department is working with the local medical community on the distribution of the H1N1 vaccine to local medical provider. The department will also run several targeted vaccination clinics for people who do not have access to a medical provider and are at-risk for illness or serious illness.

The federal government has set priorities for those at highest risk for illness or for serious complications from H1N1:

  • Pregnant women;
  • People who live with or provide care for infants under 6 months;
  • Healthcare and emergency medical services workers;
  • Children and young adults between the ages of 6 months to 24 years of age; and
  • People from 25 – 64 years old who have medical conditions that put them at higher risk for influenza-related complications.

3. Risk Communication and Community Information. Good information and clear messages will be critical in preparing the public for the potential impact of pandemic H1N1 flu. Because pandemic H1N1 is striking our school-age population, staff is working with school districts and has recently launched a H1N1 student awareness and education campaign. While this age group is a focus of these educational efforts, other information and tools will be made available for the parents of all school-age children and the Santa Clara County community at-large.

The emphasis of early communication activities will include information about preparing for this potential public health emergency, and how important it is that each and every one of us do all that we can to limit the spread of this disease – at work and at home.

What You Can Do
It is important to remember that most or the people who have been sick with pandemic H1N1 flu, have been taken care of at home and have fully recovered without any special medical attention.

If you do get the flu or have flu-like symptoms, it is important to stay home until you no longer have fever for at least 24 hours (after you stopped taking medication). The exception is people working in the healthcare setting, for them the period of time to stay home will be for 7 days from the time symptoms began, or until 24 hours after symptoms have stopped, whichever is longer.

Because so many people may become sick with this new flu virus, each individual and family should prepare and have they supplies they may need. As we saw during in the spring, pandemic influenza can have an affect on everyday life. Schools may have to be closed again, business may experience high absenteeism, and there may be spot shortages of supplies. Have a plan for yourself and your family in case any of these things happen. By preparing now, you can help protect yourself and your family later. Go to www.sccphd.org and look for the Home Care Guide for the information you need to prepare at home.

It will be important to stay informed. Information about prevention and control actions will be shared in a number of ways. Visit the Public Health Department’s web site at www.sccphd.org and by the CDC at www.pandemicflu.gov for the latest. On the Public Health Department site you can now subscribe to the e-newsletter which will send new information about H1N1 and other Public Health Department activities as it becomes available.

County Proclaims Local Emergency in Response to Pandemic H1N1 (Swine) Flu Virus - Sep. 29, 2009

posted Nov 3, 2009, 10:04 AM by Santa Clara County Public Health Dept

Santa Clara County, Ca. —Today, the County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors declared a local emergency in response to the pandemic H1N1 virus. The declaration followed a report from County Executive Jeff Smith and Health Officer Marty Fenstersheib regarding the current state of pandemic H1N1 and the threat to the residents of Santa Clara County. The Board’s action also included allocating $500,000 in funds for flu emergency response efforts.

Human cases of pandemic H1N1 have been increasing in the United States, including more than 2,000 reported cases in California and 155 reported hospitalized cases in Santa Clara County between April 3 and Sept. 15, and 167 reported deaths in California and 8 reported deaths in Santa Clara County during the same five month period. Studies reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) predict that H1N1 transmission is likely to persist and increase in the Northern Hemisphere during fall and winter.

“We continue to take proactive measures to prepare and respond in the face of this increasing health threat by declaring a local emergency in response to the threat of H1N1” said Supervisor Liz Kniss, President of the County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors. “Decisive action is called for with the expected increase of flu transmission in Fall and Winter.

Government Code Section 8630 authorizes the Board of Supervisors to proclaim a local emergency when the County is threatened or likely to be threatened by conditions of disaster or extreme peril to the safety of persons and property within the County that are likely to be beyond the control of the services, personnel, equipment and facilities o the County. The County previously declared a local emergency following the identification of cases of the pandemic flu virus throughout the country earlier this year, proclaiming a local emergency on April 29, 2009, which the Board ratified on May 5, 2009, and later terminated on May 19, 2009.

“We have closely monitored the local and national status of H1N1, and believe it is imperative that we take the necessary steps to protect our community. The Board’s declaration of emergency will enable us to put needed resources in place to respond to what is likely to be a flu season that will impact our entire community,” said County Executive Jeff Smith.

Local surveillance indicates that the H1N1 virus continues to spread through the community and has begun to increase in the last few weeks. Surveillance has shown an increased number of people with influenza-like illness coming into Emergency Departments. Some schools are experiencing increased absenteeism. The Public Health Department is preparing for the distribution of the pandemic H1N1 vaccine, as well as antivirals medications, to try to limit the spread of the virus.

“Because the pandemic H1N1 virus is a new flu strain, people have little or no immunity and it has spread world-wide,” Fentersheib said. “Everyone should practice basic preventative measures to help limit the spread of the flu including hand washing, and staying home when sick, and get your seasonal flu vaccine now.”

SANTA CLARA COUNTY PUBLIC HEALTH DEPARMTENT RECOMMENDATIONS
By preparing now, you can help protect yourself and your family later. Don’t forget food, water and medicines that you would want on hand for any emergency. For a helpful list, you can go to www.sccphd.org and look for the Home Care Guide. There you will find the information you need to prepare at home.

Because so many people may become sick with this new flu virus, each individual and family should prepare and have the supplies they may need. During the spring it became apparent pandemic influenza can have an affect on everyday life. Schools may have to be closed again, business may experience high absenteeism, and there may be spot shortages of supplies. Have a plan for yourself and your family in case any of these things happen.

The following common-sense actions can help to limit the spread of germs and the pandemic H1N1 virus:

  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Stay away from sick people as much as possible.
  • If you are sick, stay home. Cover your coughs and wash your hands. And stay away from others as much as possible.

It will be important to stay informed. Information about prevention and control actions will be shared in a number of ways. Visit the Public Health Department’s web site at www.sccphd.org and by the CDC at www.pandemicflu.gov for the latest. On the Public Health Department site you can now subscribe to the e-newsletter which will send new information about H1N1 and other Public Health Department activities as it becomes available.

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