Nevada health officials: We’re prepared for swine flu
April 29, 2009
CARSON CITY ” Nevada health officials told a state assembly committee this afternoon that they are prepared for a swine flu pandemic in light of news of the first diagnosed case of the virus in the state today.
The Nevada State Health Division and other health officials are watching for more cases and increasing the state’s stockpile of swine flu treatments, officials told the Assembly Committee on Health and Human Services.
The state has about 140,000 swine flu treatments and expects to get 86,000 more from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, said Mike Willden, director of the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services.
The treatment is the same treatment used for the common flu.
The Washoe County District Health Department is monitoring the girl with swine flu, her family and the day care she attended, he said.
Her case was mild and she is now “doing well,” he said.
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Health officials tested four cases Sunday ” two from Carson City and one each from Las Vegas and Reno. Officials found the cases from Carson City and Las Vegas weren’t swine flu, but sent the Reno sample to the Centers fro Disease Control and Prevention because they weren’t sure about it.
The agency told the state this morning the sample from Reno was swine flu.
But the Nevada health division is regularly talking with federal and local health officials about possible swine flu cases, containment and testing, said Mary Guinan, acting state health officer.
“The system is working,” she said. “We have a a system for surveillance. We have a system for containment.”
One death and 91 cases of swine flue in 10 states have been reported in the country. Cases have also been reported in Mexico, Canada, Britain, Israel, New Zealand, Spain, Germany and Austria.
The Geneva-based World Health Organization said today that the virus is reaching a pandemic level.
Luana Ritch, chief of the Nevada Bureau of Health Statistics, Planning and Emergency Response, said in an interview that swine flu has probably been in Nevada for a while, but no one has noticed because symptoms have been so mild.
What makes the swine flu a concern is that it is not covered by this year’s flu vaccine and it comes late in the season.
Marena Works, Carson City Health & Human Services director, said the city is prepared for cases of swine flu.
She said the department is monitoring medical clinics, talking with health officials and advising doctors on testing for swine flu.
The Carson Tahoe Medical Center has areas in its emergency room separated off in case of a swine flu emergency to keep the virus contained, said John Tyler, a hospital representative.
He said the hospital is also in regular talks with the city and state health departments about what is happening with the virus.
– The Associated Press contributed to this story.