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      Posted May 8. Evanston health officials said they have received official confirmation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of eight influenza A (H1N1), or “swine flu” cases, in Evanston. All the infected persons – who range in age from to 28 years – have either fully recovered or are on their way to a full recovery with no serious complications, said Carl Caneva of Evanston‘s Health and Human Services Department.

 

     Mr. Caneva added, “We are urging people to take a very practical, commonsense approach to this flu: Wash your hands frequently; cover your mouth when you cough; and if you or your children are sick – stay home so you do not infect others.” He added that closing a school “is not advised for a suspected or confirmed case of influenza A (H1N1) and, in general, unless there is a magnitude of faculty or student absenteeism that interferes with the school’s ability to function.”

 

     Interim City Manager Rolanda Russell said, “The City of Evanston’s Health and Human Services Department is working closely with the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to reduce transmission and illness severity and to keep our citizens informed of the latest information.”

 

     Mr. Caneva also said CDC officials believe that this virus has the same properties in terms of spread as seasonal flu viruses. With seasonal flu, studies have shown that people may be contagious for a period that lasts from one day before symptoms appear to up to seven days after the onset of the illness, he added. For children, the contagion period can be even longer. Symptoms of this virus are similar to those of seasonal flu; they include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. A significant number of people who have been infected with this virus also have reported diarrhea and vomiting, Mr. Caneva said. 

 

     CDC personnel are studying the virus and will provide more information as it becomes available.

 

Influenza A H1N1 (Swine Flu) Facts and Recommendations

     While there is currently no vaccine to protect against the H1N1

virus, there are everyday actions that can help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses:

 

     Cover nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or

sneezing. Throw the tissue in the trash after use.

Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you

cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.

Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.

 

     Try to avoid close contact with sick people.

 

     If sick, stay home for seven days after symptoms begin or until symptom-free for 24 hours after the illness, whichever is longer.

    

     Be prepared in case of illness: Keep a week’s supply of over-the-counter medicines, alcohol-based hand-wipes, tissues and the like.

 

     If you have severe illness or you are at high risk for flu complications, contact your health care provider or seek medical care.

 

     In children, pay attention to warning signs that need urgent medical attention, such as

 

*        Fast breathing or trouble breathing

*        Bluish or gray skin color

*        Not drinking enough fluids

*        Severe or persistent vomiting

*        Not waking up or not interacting

*        Irritability to the extent that a child does not want to be held

*        Apparent improvement of flu-like symptoms, followed by their return with fever and worse cough

 

     In adults, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include the following:

 

*        Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath

*        Pain or pressure in chest or abdomen

*        Sudden dizziness

*        Confusion

*        Severe or persistent vomiting

*        Apparent improvement of flu-like symptoms, followed by their  return with fever and worse cough

 

 

For more information visit www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu or www.idph.state.il.us

<http://www.idph.state.il.us/> or call the City’s Department of Health and Human Services, 847-866-2969, or the CDC 24-hour information line at 800-232-4636 (TTY, 888-232-6348).