Placer County has its first documented case of H1N1 flu, previously referred to as the swine flu.
The County received notification late Saturday of the result of confirmatory testing by the California Department of Public Health.
The patient, who is 58 and lives in Roseville, experienced a mild illness and has recovered fully. The patient sought medical treatment, and remained at home for the recommended seven days. The medical provider took appropriate precautions during the patient’s visit to assure that no staff or other patients were exposed. There were no contacts with other people during the contagious period.
“This patient did an outstanding job of protecting others from getting the flu, as did the private care provider,” said Dr. Mark Starr, Director, Placer County Community Health. “This first case in Placer County is not surprising, because the virus is known to be present in most states, particularly California. Most cases have been relatively mild, similar to many of the seasonal flus that occur each year.” But he also emphasized that this new H1N1 flu virus could become more severe in the coming months, and that even seasonal flu can be a serious disease.
According to Dr. Starr, the best way individuals can avoid getting or spreading flu of any kind is to take common-sense steps of washing their hands often, avoiding close contact with people who are sick, covering their coughs, staying home if they are sick, and contacting their doctor if needed. “Taking personal responsibility to prevent the spread of infectious diseases is essential, as was well demonstrated in this case” he said.
To ask questions in English or Spanish about H1N1 flu, call the State of California’s flu hotline, 1-888-865-0564, which is answered 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekends. During other hours there will be a recorded message.
For more detailed information about H1N1 flu or prevention tips, go to the CDC web site: http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/ or to the California Department of Public Health Web site, www.cdph.ca.gov Links to state and federal Web sites are also available through the county Web site, www.placer.ca.gov, which will also include local updates. The county also has a recorded message regarding the flu at 1-530-889-7161.