CDC Flu Update
Posted: May 12, 2009 at 9:27 am
The ongoing outbreak of novel influenza A (H1N1) continues to expand in the United States. CDC expects that more cases, more hospitalizations and more deaths from this outbreak will occur over the coming days and weeks.
CDC continues to take aggressive action to respond to the expanding outbreak. CDCís response goals are to reduce spread and illness severity, and provide information to help health care providers, public health officials and the public address the challenges posed by this emergency.
CDC is issuing updated interim guidance daily in response to the rapidly evolving situation.
This includes updated interim guidance for schools and childcare facilities on preventing the spread of novel influenza A (H1N1) virus. At this time, CDC recommends the primary means to reduce spread of influenza in schools focus on early identification of ill students and staff, staying home when sick, and good cough etiquette and frequent hand washing. Decisions about school closure should be at the discretion of local authorities based on local considerations.
CDC has developed a PCR diagnostic test kit to detect this novel H1N1 virus and has now distributed test kits to all states in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. The test kits are being shipped internationally as well. This will allow states and other countries to test for this new virus. This increase in testing capacity is likely to result in an increase in the number of reported confirmed cases in this country, which should provide a more accurate picture of the burden of disease in the United States.