I have been in contact with the Governor's office and have been advised that the NYS Department of Health has activated the Infectious Disease, Epidemiology, Laboratory, Disaster Preparedness and Health Systems Staff" for coordinated efforts across the state to monitor possible Swine Flu cases.
In addition, DOH is monitoring respiratory illness throughout the State by tracking emergency department visits for respiratory illnesses, as well as monitoring the volume of Medicaid prescriptions for Tamiflu and Relenza, which are used for treatment of flu.
DOH has also set up a toll-free number for New York State residents who have questions or concerns about swine flu. The hotline number is 1-800-808-1987. It will be available 24 hours a day, beginning at 8:00 a.m. on Sunday, April 26, 2009.
It is important to note that ordinary seasonal flu, which has symptoms similar to swine flu, is still active in New York State. Precautionary measures for both seasonal flu and swine flu include:
The public can obtain more information about swine flu and precautionary measures at DOH’s web site at www.nyhealth.gov.
- Washing your hands often with soap and warm water. Alcohol-based hand cleansers are also effective.
- Avoiding people who are ill.
- Staying home from work or school if you are sick.
- Using tissue when you cough, sneeze or spit, and dispose of the tissue in a covered trash bin.
- Keeping hands away from your face. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
- Cleaning shared space more often such as phone receivers, keyboards, steering wheels and office equipment.
- Refraining from sharing personal items such as forks, spoons, toothbrushes and towels.