For Immediate Release
May 3, 2009

KDHE Office of Communications, 785-296-0461

KDHE announces two presumptively confirmed cases
of 2009 H1N1 flu virus in Kansas

This afternoon, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) is announcing two presumptively confirmed cases of the 2009 H1N1 flu virus in Kansas, with additional cases likely to be announced soon.  One case is in Sedgwick County and the other is in Johnson County.

In both cases the local health departments are following the guidance provided by KDHE when dealing with a confirmed case.  This includes a through case investigation and management of the patient and close contacts.

This weekend KDHE’s laboratory received test kits from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that gives state public health laboratories the ability to test for the 2009 H1N1 flu virus.  Up to this point, state laboratories had to send specimens to CDC for final confirmation.  The CDC requires that laboratories using the new test kits send five specimens that test positive for the virus to the CDC’s laboratory in Atlanta for verification before the KDHE laboratory is certified to announce confirmed cases.  Until KDHE receives the certification from the CDC, KDHE will refer to these cases as presumptively confirmed, but will treat them as confirmed cases until they learn otherwise.

After KDHE receives further laboratory results from the specimens submitted to CDC and communicates with the local health department, a news release will be issued.  No additional information on these cases will be available from KDHE at this time.

KDHE is still awaiting the results from the specimen sent to CDC involving the probable case of a hospitalized patient in Johnson County announced on Friday afternoon

To date Kansas has two confirmed cases of the 2009 H1N1 flu virus, one probable case waiting determination from CDC and now two presumptive positive cases waiting for determination by CDC.

Stay tuned for additional information from KDHE on the 2009 H1N1 flu virus and its impact on Kansas either later this afternoon or Monday morning.

As with any influenza virus, individuals are encouraged to take the following steps to reduce the chance of spread: