For Immediate Release
May 18, 2009

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

Monday update of 2009 H1N1 influenza A virus cases identified in Kansas

Twelve new cases of the 2009 H1N1 influenza A virus have been confirmed in Kansas since the last update on Friday, May 15.  Two cases were identified in Geary County adults. Four cases were identified in Geary County children.  Four cases were identified in Riley County adults.  One case was identified in a Riley County child. One case was identified in a Saline County child.  Today’s announcement brings the Kansas total to 46 confirmed cases. 

KDHE is working closely with the Geary and Riley county health departments and local healthcare providers to identify close contacts of confirmed cases, in an effort to interrupt the chain of virus transmission.  Healthcare providers in these counties are strongly encouraged to submit specimens to the Kansas Health and Environmental Laboratories at KDHE on all patients presenting with influenza-like illness.

As of today, KDHE has identified the following cases of the 2009 H1N1 influenza A virus in Kansas.  In all cases, the local health departments are following the guidance provided by KDHE and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

Confirmed Cases – 46 total

KDHE will report cases of the 2009 H1N1 influenza A virus once each weekday by 10 a.m. through a news release and at www.kdheks.gov.

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.