Human cases of influenza A (H1N1) virus infection have been identified in the United States. Human cases of influenza A (H1N1) virus infection also have been identified internationally. A current U.S. case count can be viewed at www.cdc.gov/swineflu .

An investigation and response effort surrounding the outbreak of the H1N1 flu is ongoing. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is working very closely with officials in states where human cases of influenza A (H1N1) have been identified, as well as with health officials in Mexico, Canada and the World Health Organization.

This includes deploying staff domestically and internationally to provide guidance and technical support. CDC activated its Emergency Operations Center to coordinate the agency's response to this emerging health threat and yesterday the Secretary of the Department Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, declared a public health emergency in the United States.

This will allow funds to be released to support the public health response. CDC's goals during this public health emergency are to reduce transmission and illness severity, and provide information to assist health care providers, public health officials and the public in addressing the challenges posed by this newly identified influenza virus.

To this end, CDC has issued a number of interim guidance documents in the past 24 hours. In addition, CDC's Division of the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) is releasing one-quarter of its antiviral drugs, personal protective equipment, and respiratory protection devices to help states respond to the outbreak. Laboratory testing has found the influenza A (H1N1) virus susceptible to the prescription antiviral drugs oseltamivir and zanamivir.

This is a rapidly evolving situation and CDC will provide updated guidance and new information as it becomes available.

What You Can Do to Stay Healthy: There are everyday actions people can take to stay healthy.
-Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
-Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
-Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hands cleaners are also effective.
-Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.
-Try to avoid close contact with sick people. Influenza is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected people.
-If you get sick, CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.

For more information or status updates, please visit www.cdc.gov/swineflu .

Page last updated Mon April 27th, 2009 at 16:55