For Immediate Release
May 6, 2009

KDHE Office of Communications
communications@kdheks.gov, 785-296-0461

Two new cases of the 2009 H1N1 influenza A virus identified in Kansas

Two new cases of the 2009 H1N1 influenza A virus were confirmed today in Johnson County, according to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE).  Both of the new cases in Johnson County involved a child.  These cases are in addition to the two Wyandotte County cases that were announced this morning.  Today’s announcements bring the total number of Kansas cases to 9 confirmed and 1 probable. 

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

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

Starting Thursday, May 7, KDHE will report cases of the 2009 H1N1 influenza A virus once daily by 10 a.m.  The daily report will include all cases identified by 11:59 p.m. of the previous day.  The case counts will be communicated through a daily news release and posted on the 2009 H1N1 flu virus section of the KDHE web site www.kdheks.gov.

As of Wednesday afternoon, KDHE has identified the following cases of the 2009 H1N1 influenza A virus in Kansas (the following list includes the two new cases from Johnson County announced in this release):

Confirmed Cases – 9 total
Dickinson County

Johnson County

Sedgwick County

Wyandotte County

Probable Case – 1 total
Johnson County

KDHE is continuing to work with local health departments and other healthcare providers to identify cases in Kansas and interrupt the chain of virus transmission wherever it is found.

The symptoms of the 2009 H1N1 influenza A virus are similar to the symptoms of seasonal flu and include:

Individuals who experience the above symptoms should contact their health care provider, who will determine whether testing or treatment is needed. There is no vaccine available right now to protect against the 2009 H1N1 influenza A virus, but there are effective treatments available once the infection is diagnosed.

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

It is important to know that the 2009 H1N1 influenza A virus is not transmitted by food.  You cannot get this virus from eating pork or pork products. Eating properly handled and cooked pork and pork products is safe.

KDHE has established a phone number for concerned Kansans to call with questions about the 2009 H1N1 influenza A virus.  The toll-free number is 1-877-427-7317.  Operators will be available to answer questions from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.  Persons calling will be directed to press “1” on their touch-tone phone to be directed to an operator who can answer questions.

Kansans with questions about the virus can email H1N1fluinfo@kdheks.gov.  Information is also available from KDHE at www.kdheks.gov.