A new H1N1 Strain that has never been seen in humans before has been diagnosed in the U.S. and Mexico. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has documented 8 cases in California and Texas; the same virus has also been detected in central Mexico. The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) has not seen the virus, but is monitoring the situation. The state laboratory is prepared for testing influenza samples from across the state.
"Influenza is a constantly evolving virus. We've been watching for something like this for years," said Dr. Karen Lewis, Medical Director for the state's Immunization Program. "The important part of the equation is identifying a new virus. Then we can diagnose and treat those who have it." ADHS is in contact with doctors, medical facilities and our local health partners to make sure they are aware of the symptoms, as well as when to do additional testing.
The symptoms of the new H1N1 Strain are similar to those of regular influenza: high fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, body aches – some cases have nausea and diarrhea. Treatment of the new H1N1 Strain is the same as influenza: stay in bed, rest and drink plenty of fluids. If you are concerned about your symptoms, contact your primary care doctor.
Every person can protect themselves from the new H1N1 Strain and other illnesses by practicing good hygiene. Wash your hands thoroughly and try to limit contact with people who are sick. If you are sick, stay home.
ADHS will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as needed on our website at www.azdhs.gov/phs/oids/epi/flu and at 800-314-9243. Or you can visit the CDC website at http://www.cdc.gov/flu/swine/index.htm.