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New Flu Virus (H1N1) Update – June 1, 2009 at 3:30pm

posted Jun 8, 2009, 6:20 PM by Santa Clara County Public Health Dept

As of Friday, May 29, 2009, the Santa Clara County Public Health Department reported 34 additional probable cases of the new flu virus (H1N1). The current total for Santa Clara County is now 44 confirmed cases and 35 probable cases for a total of 79 cases in the county. Four (4) of these cases were hospitalized and have either recovered or are recovering at home.

The number of confirmed cases increased because confirmatory testing took place at the state and federal levels. The Santa Clara County Public Health Department will continue to consider all probable cases as confirmed H1N1 cases because public health actions do not change based on whether a case is probable or confirmed. Over 95% of the specimens classified as probable have been confirmed as the new H1N1 virus.

Influenza is always a serious disease. Each year in the United States, seasonal influenza causes about 36,000 deaths and more than 200,000 hospitalizations. At this time, health officials do not know how severe this new flu virus (H1N1) outbreak will be in terms of illness and death compared with other influenza viruses. It’s too soon to predict what will happen or how the virus might change, but this outbreak has the potential to be at least as and possibly more serious than seasonal flu.

The Public Health Department will report individual cases for as long as possible, and then will use a seasonal surveillance system to track the progress of the H1N1 flu virus. Routine seasonal surveillance does not count individual cases, but instead monitors activity levels through a local surveillance system based in most of the Emergency Departments of hospitals in our community.

Everyday, we learn more about this virus. The actions and guidance the Public Health Department provides may change in response to what we learn. That is our role, but you too have a role in protecting yourself and your family and it is important to stay informed. Health officials will provide additional information as it becomes available, but right now you can go to www.sccphd.org or visit www.cdc.gov for more information.

Information about the new flu virus, H1N1, is also available on the California Department of Public Health’s toll-free hotline at 1-888-865-0564 (Monday – Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday/Sunday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.).

New Flu Virus (H1N1) Update – May 15, 2009 at 12:30pm

posted Jun 2, 2009, 10:30 AM by Santa Clara County Public Health Dept

As of Friday, May 15, 2009, the Santa Clara County Public Health Department is reporting an additional probable case of the new flu virus (H1N1). The current total for Santa Clara County is 14 confirmed cases and 17 probable cases for a total of 31 cases in the county.

The Santa Clara County Public Health Department anticipates that there will be more cases, more hospitalizations and more deaths in the United States due to the new virus in the coming weeks and months. This is mainly because people have little to no immunity against it.

Influenza is always a serious disease. Each year in the United States, seasonal influenza causes about 36,000 deaths and more than 200,000 hospitalizations. At this time, health officials do not know how severe this new flu virus (H1N1) outbreak will be in terms of illness and death compared with other influenza viruses. It’s too soon to predict what will happen or how the virus might change, but this outbreak has the potential to be at least as serious, and possibly more serious seasonal flu.

Santa Clara County Public Health Department is now reporting a total of 31 confirmed and probable cases. The Public Health Department will report individual cases for as long as possible, and then will use a seasonal surveillance system to track the progress of the H1N1 flu virus outbreak. Routine seasonal surveillance does not count individual cases, but instead monitors activity levels through a local surveillance system based in most of the Emergency Departments of hospitals in our community.

The goals of the Public Health Department during any public health emergency are to reduce illness and death. In the case of this new flu virus (H1N1), reducing illness and deaths is in part achieved by limiting its spread. One example of how this is done is the closing of schools, which was done specifically to reduce the spread of this new flu virus.

Everyday, we learn more about this virus. The actions and guidance the Public Health Department provides may change in response to what we learn. That is our role, but you too have a role in protecting yourself and your family, so it is important to stay informed. Health officials will provide additional information as it becomes available, but right now you can go to www.sccphd.org or visit www.cdc.gov for more information.

Information about the new flu virus, H1N1, is also available on the California Department of Public Health toll-free hotline at 1-888-865-0564 (Monday – Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday/Sunday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.).

New Flu Virus (H1N1) Update – May 12, 2009 at 4:00pm

posted May 15, 2009, 10:49 PM by Santa Clara County Public Health Dept   [ updated May 15, 2009, 10:50 PM ]

As of Tuesday, May 12, 2009, the Santa Clara County Public Health Department has reported 14 confirmed cases of the new flu virus (H1N1) and 15 probable cases for a total of 29 cases in the county.

Dr. Marty Fenstersheib, Health Officer for Santa Clara County, continues to advise the public to remain vigilant in monitoring and protecting health:

  • If sick persons exhibit a fever and any of the following: stuffy nose, sore throat, and/or coughing they should stay at home and limit contact with healthy persons.
  • Sick persons should stay home for at least 7 days after they first show flu symptoms or until they stop having any symptoms, whichever is longer.
  • Sick persons should try to stay away from people who are well. It is especially important to stay away from those who may be more likely to get very sick, like infants and young children, the elderly, pregnant women, or those with chronic diseases.
  • If you are sick, think about wearing a surgical mask so that you don’t spread the virus to others. And wash your hands frequently for the same reason – so that you don’t spread the flu to others.
  • Change and throw away masks when they become moist.
  • If the sick person is not wearing a mask, they should cover their mouth and nose with tissues when coughing or sneezing.
  • Limit the number of people taking care of the sick family member.
  • Caregivers should wash their hands after they have contact with the sick person.
  • Keep windows open to circulate air.
  • Keep common area surfaces clean.
  • Do not have visitors in your home while the person is sick.

For information about the new flu virus, H1N1, please call the California Department of Public Health toll-free hotline at 1-888-865-0564 (Monday – Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday/Sunday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.) or the Public Health Information Line at 408-885-3980.

On the web, for more information about the new flu virus (H1N1), visit www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu or for Spanish, visit http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/espanol/.

New Flu Virus (H1N1) Update – May 7, 2009 at 5:00pm

posted May 12, 2009, 5:52 PM by Santa Clara County Public Health Dept   [ updated May 12, 2009, 5:53 PM ]

An additional six new “probable” cases of H1N1 flu have been identified in Santa Clara County:


A 16-year old female from Santa Clara
A 17-year-old female from San Jose
A 36-year-old female from Sunnyvale
A 19-year old male from San Jose
A 19-year old female from San Jose
A 14-year old male from San Jose

There are now 11 confirmed cases and 13 probable cases in Santa Clara County for a total of 24 cases. Dr. Marty Fenstersheib, Health Officer for Santa Clara County, continues to advise the public to remain vigilant in monitoring and protecting health:

  • If sick persons exhibit a fever and any of the following: stuffy nose, sore throat, and/or coughing they should stay at home and limit contact with healthy persons.
  • Sick persons should stay home for at least 7 days after they first show flu symptoms or until they stop having any symptoms, whichever is longer.
  • Sick persons should try to stay away from people who are well. It is especially important to stay away from those who may be more likely to get very sick, like infants and young children, the elderly, pregnant women, or those with chronic diseases.
  • If you are sick, think about wearing a surgical mask so that you don’t spread the virus to others. And wash your hands frequently for the same reason – so that you don’t spread the flu to others.
  • Change and throw away masks when they become moist.
  • If the sick person is not wearing a mask, they should cover their mouth and nose with tissues when coughing or sneezing.
  • Limit the number of people taking care of the sick family member.
  • Caregivers should wash their hands after they have contact with the sick person.
  • Keep windows open to circulate air.
  • Keep common area surfaces clean.
  • Do not have visitors in your home while the person is sick.

For information about the new flu virus, H1N1, please call the California Department of Public Health toll-free hotline at 1-888-865-0564 (Monday – Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday/Sunday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.) or the Public Health Information Line at 408-885-3980.

On the web, for more information about the new flu virus (H1N1), visit www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu or for Spanish, visit http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/espanol/.

New Flu Virus (H1N1) Update – May 6, 2009 at 5:00 pm

posted May 11, 2009, 12:33 PM by Santa Clara County Public Health Dept   [ updated May 11, 2009, 12:34 PM ]

A new “probable” case of H1N1 flu has been reported in a 41 year old male from Santa Clara. As with previous cases, this “probable” case will be treated as a confirmed case of this new flu. Currently there are 18 cases of the new flu (H1N1) in Santa Clara County, seven confirmed cases and 11 probable cases.

As this new flu (H1N1) outbreak unfolded over the last two weeks, the Santa Clara County Public Health Department took a cautious approach to ensure the public’s health. Information gathered over the last week in Santa Clara County and elsewhere in the country shows that most U.S. cases have been mild and very much like seasonal influenza.

Dr. Marty Fenstersheib, Health Officer for Santa Clara County, has been pleased with the County’s response. “Two weeks ago, we didn’t know how quickly or easily this virus would spread, nor how severe it could become”, said Dr. Fenstersheib. “In our exercises and planning for pandemic flu, we always envisioned a ‘worse case scenario’ with a much more severe virus. Luckily, this has not occurred. While this is still a mild flu, it is still a new flu, to which people do not have immunity and there is no vaccine. Our community needs to continue to take common sense actions to protect their own health.”

Dr. Marty Fenstersheib has re-issued guidance to school district superintendents based on the CDC’s recommendations. The Public Health Department will no longer routinely close schools and childcare centers if a case of the new flu virus is identified. Instead, the focus will be on keeping INDIVIDUAL students and staff, with flu symptoms, out of school.

Additional cases of the new flu continue to be identified and Dr. Fenstersheib is reminding the public to remain vigilant in monitoring and protecting their health:

  • If sick persons exhibit a fever and any of the following: stuffy nose, sore throat, and/or coughing they should stay at home and limit contact with healthy persons.
  • Sick persons should stay home for at least 7 days after they first show flu symptoms or until they stop having any symptoms, whichever is longer.
  • Sick person(s) should try to stay away from people who are well. It is especially important to stay away from those who may be more likely to get very sick, like infants and young children, the elderly, pregnant women, or those with chronic diseases.
  • If you are sick, think about wearing a surgical mask so that you don’t spread the virus to others. And wash your hands frequently for the same reason – so that you don’t spread the flu to others.
  • Change and throw away masks when they become moist.
  • If the sick person is not wearing a mask, they should cover their mouth and nose with tissues when coughing or sneezing.
  • Limit the number of people taking care of the sick family member.
  • Caregivers should wash their hands after they have contact with the sick person.
  • Keep windows open to circulate air.
  • Keep common area surfaces clean.
  • Do not have visitors in your home while the person is sick.

For information about the new flu virus, H1N1, please call the California Department of Public Health toll-free hotline at 1-888-865-0564 (Monday – Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday/Sunday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.).

On the web, for more information about the new flu virus (H1N1), visit www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu or for Spanish, visit http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/espanol/

H1N1 (Swine Flu) Update – May 5, 2009 at 4:00pm

posted May 11, 2009, 12:30 PM by Santa Clara County Public Health Dept   [ updated May 11, 2009, 12:31 PM ]

Today, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) revised its guidelines regarding school closures due to swine flu. Dr. Fenstersheib, Health Officer for Santa Clara County has re-issued guidance to district superintendents based on CDC’s latest recommendation. The new recommendations are to reopen schools as early as tomorrow.

“We are thankful for the cooperation we’ve received from the schools that have closed, and understand the impact these closures have on the entire community,” said Dr. Fenstersheib. “The closing of schools was necessary to help us slow the spread of this illness and gave us time to better understand this new virus.”

As this outbreak unfolded over the last two weeks, the Santa Clara County Public Health Department took a cautious approach to ensure the public’s health, and worked to better understand this new virus. Information gathered over the last week in Santa Clara County and elsewhere in the country show that most U.S. cases have not been severe and are comparable in severity to seasonal influenza.

The cooperation with superintendents, principals, teachers and parents has been outstanding. We are now asking schools to do the following:

  • Each morning, all parents and caregivers should assess all family members and especially school age children for flu symptoms.
  • Students or faculty with flu-like illness should stay home. Anyone who is sick with flu-like symptoms should stay home for at least 7 days, even if they no longer have symptoms.
  • If a student or faculty member is sick with flu-like illness for more than 7 days, they should stay home for at least 24 hours after they stopped having symptoms.
  • Schools should screen students and staff for visible signs of flu-like illness when they come to school.
  • If you or your child’s symptoms become more severe, call your doctor, pediatrician or healthcare provider.

Schools Update
The schools that are closed today and recommended to reopen tomorrow are:

  • Branham High School, 1570 Branham Lane, San Jose
  • Delphi Academy & Elan Espirit Preschool, 890 Pomeroy Avenue, Santa Clara
  • Challenger School, 730 Camina Escuela, San Jose
  • Ruskin Elementary School & Sunshine School preschool, 2550 Greengate Drive, San Jose.
  • Daves Avenue Elementary School, 17770 Daves Avenue, Monte Sereno

Additional information including Home Care Guide instructions and checklists for preparing for an influenza emergency, visit the Santa Clara County Public Health Department website at www.sccphd.org. You can also call 2-1-1 or the Public Health Information Line at 408.885.3980.

Local Situation
As of today, Santa Clara County has seven (7) confirmed cases of H1N1 influenza virus (swine flu). An additional ten (10) cases have been identified as “probable” in Santa Clara County. Yesterday, the CDC reported that nationwide, 99% of probable cases are ending up confirmed.

It is important that all residents continue to take preventive measures for protecting themselves and others against transmission of the flu. Please continue to take common sense precautions like covering your cough and washing your hands to stay healthy.

It is important to remember that healthy people who are not ill, injured and not in need of medical care, should stay away from medical offices, clinics and hospitals.

For information about H1N1 (Swine Flu) please call the California Public Health Department toll-free hotline at 1-888-865-0564 (Monday – Friday from 7am to 6 pm and Saturday/Sunday from 8 am to 4 pm) or the Public Health Information Line at 885-3980.

For more information about H1N1 (Swine Flu), visit www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu For information in Spanish, visit www.cdc.gov/swineflu/espanol/influenza-porcina-datos.htm

H1N1 (Swine Flu) Update – May 4, 2009 at 3:45pm

posted May 11, 2009, 12:28 PM by Santa Clara County Public Health Dept   [ updated Sep 4, 2009, 12:05 PM ]

It is important to remember that healthy people who are not ill, injured and not in need of medical care, should stay away from medical offices, clinics and hospitals. Please take common sense precautions like covering your cough and washing your hands.

Local Situation

As of today, the Public Health Department Laboratory announced the following:
  • 7 cases are now confirmed as H1N1 virus (all previously probable cases)
  • Currently, there are 5 probable cases in Santa Clara County
  • Probable cases will continue to be treated as if they are confirmed cases
In order to increase the number of samples to be tested locally, the Santa Clara County Public Health Department Laboratory has acquired a second LightCycler machine which is able to identify probable cases of H1N1 influenza.

Schools update:
  • Two additional schools in Santa Clara County were closed over the weekend, Ruskin Elementary School and the Sunshine School which is a preschool. These schools share the same campus at 2550 Greengate Drive in San Jose.
The Public Health Department continues to conduct local surveillance, monitor the situation closely, and inform the public, medical community and other local agencies about the outbreak of swine flu.

For information about the swine flu please call the State Swine Flu Hotline at 1-888-865-0564 (Monday – Friday 7 am to 6 pm and Saturday/Sunday from 8 am to 4 pm).

For local updates and preparedness information, visit the Santa Clara County web site at www.sccgov.org and click on the Swine Flu Update.

For more information about swine flu, visit www.cdc.gov/swineflu

For information in Spanish, visit www.cdc.gov/flu/swine/espanol

Swine Flu Update - May 1, 2009 4:15 pm

posted May 11, 2009, 12:27 PM by Santa Clara County Public Health Dept   [ updated Sep 4, 2009, 12:06 PM ]

It is important to remember that healthy people who are not ill, injured and not in need of medical care, should stay away from medical offices, clinics and hospitals.  Please take common sense precautions like covering your cough and washing your hands.

Local Situation

As of May 1, 2009 (4:15 pm), the Public Health Department Laboratory has 9 probable cases of swine flu cases. Yesterday's 7th case, the 1 highly suspect case, does not have influenza. (See Rucker below.)

The three new cases include:

  • 18 years old - female, San Jose
  • 22 years old - male, Morgan Hill
  • 73 years old - female, San Jose, hospitalized for 5 days, now recovering at home

Schools update:

  • Delphi Academy & Elan Espirit Preschool, 890 Pomeroy Avenue, Santa Clara will reopen May 11, 2009;
  • Challenger School, 730 Camina Escuela, San Jose will reopen May 11, 2009;
  • Branham High School will reopen May 6, 2009;
  • Rucker Elementary in unincorporated in San Martin will reopen May 4, 2009.

The Rucker school was initially closed because of the 1 highly suspect case plus additional sick children at that school, but that case has come back negative. As a result, Rucker will reopen Monday, May 4, 2009.

The Public Health Department continues to conduct local surveillance, monitor the situation closely, and inform the public, medical community and other local agencies about the outbreak of swine flu. 

National Situation

On April 29, 2009, the World Health Organization raised its pandemic alert for swine flu to level 5, the second highest level. As defined by the World Health Organization, a phase 5 alert means there is sustained transmission among people in at least two countries. Once the virus shows effective transmission in two different regions of the world, a full pandemic outbreak (level 6) would be declared, meaning a global epidemic of a new and deadly disease.

As of April 27th, the CDC issued a travel warning which recommends that U.S. travelers avoid all nonessential travel to Mexico. If you must travel to an area that reported cases of swine flu please refer the CDC website for more information at http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/contentSwineFluMexico.aspx

For more information about swine fluFor information about H1N1 (Swine) Flu please call the California Public Health Department toll-free hotline at 1-888-865-0564 (Monday - Friday from 7 am to 6 pm and Saturday/Sunday from 8 am to 4 pm).

For more information about H1N1 (Swine) Flu, visit http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu

For information in Spanish, visit http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/espanol/influenza-porcina-datos.htm

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