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News Contact:
Cathy Summa-Wolfe
, Director
Communications & Community Relations
415-485-9528

MH1N1 (Swine) Influenza Virus Update

 Kentfield, May 11, 2009--The Marin County Department of Health and Human Services (H&HS) Department Operations Center (DOC), which was activated on April 27, 2009 in coordination with the Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services (OES), has been demobilized as of Friday, May 8. OES and H&HS staff will continue monitoring the situation in Marin County and public health officials will continue surveillance of H1N1 influenza cases locally and nationally in coordination with local, state, and federal agencies. Regularly updated information will be available at www.marinflu.org <http://www.marinflu.org/> .
 
In an abundance of caution, two Marin schools were closed for two days each--Bahia Vista Elementary School in San Rafael and Tamalpais High School in Mill Valley. One school was re-opened when one student who was a probable case was found to have seasonal influenza. The other school re-opened when the CDC revised its guidelines about school closure. Marin County Superintendent of Schools Mary Jane Burke stated, “Because of the planning, information, and education provided by the staff of the Health and Human Services Department Operations Center, school districts were able to make good decisions and to communicate clearly and effectively with students, parents, staff, and the community. In the end of the story, the children, families, and residents of our communities were informed and protected.”

Kentfield, Calif.—May 4, 2009--College of Marin representatives are in daily contact with County officials so that we may keep you informed regarding H1N1 influenza updates. Currently, Police Chief Charles Lacy, Student Health Center Nurse June Lee, and Communications Director Cathy Summa-Wolfe are working together to disseminate information and ensure that, if necessary, the college’s Influenza Emergency Contingency Plan is employed.
 
In the event that a case of H1N1 influenza virus is reported at College of Marin, County health officials will be immediately notified. The Marin County Public Health Officer will then make a determination regarding what measures to take to prevent infection from spreading.
 
Information updates will be sent to college faculty, staff, and students through college e-mail, the MyCOM Portal, www.marin.edu <http://www.marin.edu/> , and through our AlertU emergency notification system. If you have not signed up for AlertU, it is highly recommended that you do so by going to www.alertu.org/mccd.
 
Mt. Tamalpais High School Closed
Marin County Public Health Officer Fred Schwartz, M.D., in consultation with Marin County Office of Education Superintendent Mary Jane Burke, announced today the closure of Tamalpais High School. This action is due to the fact that a Tamalpais High School student has been identified as having a confirmed case of the H1N1 influenza virus (swine flu). Tamalpais High School will be closed through Wednesday, May 6, 2009, and possibly through Wednesday, May 13, 2009.
 
This situation is evolving rapidly. More information is available online at:

Swine Flu (H1N1) Hotline for the Public (1-888-865-0564):  CDPH has activated a toll-free H1N1 influenza virus (swine flu) hotline in English and Spanish. Assistance in other languages is also available. The hotline is operational Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., and on weekends from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The CDC is recommending these four flu prevention tips:  (1) Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it. (2) Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective. (3) Try to avoid close contact with sick people. (4) If you get sick with flu, it is recommended that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.


KENTFIELD, Calif.—April 28, 2009—The U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) has reported over 60 human cases of swine influenza A (H1N1) virus infection have been identified in the United States with no deaths. As of today, there are two cases reported in Marin County. There are no cases at College of Marin. An investigation and response effort surrounding the outbreak of swine flu is ongoing.

Information updates will be sent to college faculty, staff, and students through college e-mail, the MyCOM Portal, www.marin.edu, and through our AlertU emergency notification system. If you have not signed up for AlertU, it is highly recommended that you do so by going to www.alertu.org/mccd.

Because this is a rapidly changing situation, you will find important updates at the CDC website: http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/, at the Marin County Health and Human Services website: http://www.marinflu.org/swine.aspx, and at the Marin County Office of Education (MCOE) website: http://www.marinschools.org/SwineFlu/swinefluupdate.htm

A podcast with general information about the swine flu is available at the CDC website: http://www2a.cdc.gov/podcasts/player.asp?f=11226

In Marin County, the MCOE is working with the Marin County Department of Public Health to keep us informed and to prepare for any possible eventuality. They have assured us that preparation has been made to meet any potential challenge.

Here are some helpful facts prepared by the MCOE:

  • Swine flu is a respiratory (breathing) infection caused by influenza viruses found in pigs.  People do not normally get swine flu.
  • Symptoms of swine flu are similar to those of seasonal flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills, fatigue, and sometimes diarrhea and vomiting.  Please see your healthcare provider if you experience any of these symptoms.  Most instances of this illness in the United States have been mild. 
  • Swine flu is spread person to person through coughing and sneezing from infected people. It cannot be transmitted by eating pork or pork products. 
  • The most effective precautions for you and your family to take are the following:
    • If you have swine flu symptoms, please stay home from school or work to prevent spreading the disease.
    • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.  Throw the tissue in the trash after using it.
    • Wash your hands often using soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing.  Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are also effective.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.  Germs spread that way.
    • Try to avoid close contact those who may be infected with the virus.

 

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