Today the Department of Homeland Security declared a public health emergency because of the spread of the a variant of swine flu to California, Texas, Kansas, Ohio and New York. 20 cases had been confirmed in the U.S. as of this morning. The declaration frees up national resources necessary to monitor and, it is hoped, to control the spread of the disease.
From a news report out of Idaho:
The swine flu infections in the United States have produced mild illnesses so far, but CDC officials said in a press conference Sunday that that is expected to change, that more cases would be diagnosed and that cases that are more serious would develop.
Symptoms are similar to seasonal flu, which includes headaches, body aches, coughing and fever. Additionally, swine flu could cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. All of the people reported ill from California and Texas have recovered.
The web site NationalTerrorAlert.com is reporting:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified the strain of swine flu and is prepared to distribute a quarter of the U.S. stockpile of 50 million doses of anti-viral medications in places around the country where swine flu has been located or may be expected to spread, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said in a briefing at the White House.
DHS Secretary Napolitano urges Americans to view this as a “declaration of emergency preparedness.”
For local residents monitoring the situation and interested in planning, particularly should the situation worsen, we’d like to direct your attention to the web site of the Griffin Neighborhood Association. Click here to view our Emergency Preparedness page. A variety of links on that page will get you to local and national informational resources.