Since the discovery of the new strain of H1N1 influenza in April 2009, the Arizona Department of Health Services has responded to the 2009 H1N1 at all levels. The Office of Infectious Diseases and the Arizona State Public Health Laboratory are tracking influenza cases and evaluating the severity of the disease. The state has been using its emergency pandemic plan as a roadmap for serving the needs of the public.
The 2009 H1N1 vaccine is beginning to arrive in Arizona. ADHS is working with county health departments to make sure that the vaccine is going first to the priority groups that have the highest risk of infection and complications. As expected, the initial vaccine shipments are small. As larger shipments of vaccine arrive, the vaccine distribution will expand until everyone who wants the vaccine can get it.
"We’re getting a lot of calls at the Department from people who want the H1N1 vaccine. We want them to have it, but they need to be patient," said Will Humble, ADHS Interim Director. "The quantities of vaccine coming into the state continue to grow, but slowly. And in the meantime, use good health hygiene: Stay home where you are sick, cover your cough and wash your hands thoroughly."
The only type of influenza circulating right now is H1N1. People should not ask for a test because the results will not impact the treatment. If someone does want a test, they have to work with a private laboratory; the state is only testing the most severe cases and fatalities.
If you are normally healthy and think you have the flu, stay home and drink lots of fluids and treat your symptoms. If you feel worse after a day or two or have trouble keeping fluids down, contact your doctor. If you have problems breathing, chest pains or can’t take care of yourself, get immediate medical attention. If children are sick and become less responsive or cannot hold down fluids, contact a health care provider right away.