COURT HOUSE – The Cape May County Department of Health was notified by the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services that three County residents tested positive for novel influenza A (H1N1). Freeholder Gerald Thornton said, “All Counties in New Jersey now have laboratory confirmed cases of novel influenza A (H1N1). While these are the first laboratory-confirmed cases, it is likely that the virus has been circulating in the County before that, as it is circulating throughout New Jersey.”
Health Officer Kevin Thomas reported that three residents tested positive. A 31 year old male resident was hospitalized and was subsequently discharged. He was healthy and reported no underlying medical conditions. The other two residents were seen in the Emergency Department and discharged without requiring hospital admission, a 24 year old healthy female and a 39 year old male with some underlying medical conditions.
Residents experiencing flu-like symptoms, which include fever, cough, sore throat, headache, muscle aches, and tiredness, should contact their physician, who can determine if treatment is warranted. Persons with suspected novel influenza A (H1N1) should be considered contagious for 7 days after symptoms begin, or 24 hours after symptoms end, whichever is longer. Persons with flu-like illness in the absence of another known cause (i.e. strep throat) should remain at home and not attend school or work for at least 7 days.
Flu viruses are transmitted by breathing in the virus from the cough or sneeze of an infected person, or by touching a contaminated surface and then touching the eyes, nose, or mouth. Thomas advised residents that there are steps people can take to protect themselves. “Residents can protect themselves by washing their hands frequently with soap and water or with an alcohol-based gel cleanser. Residents should cough or sneeze into a tissue, dispose of the tissue, and immediately wash their hands. If tissues aren’t available, residents should cough or sneeze into their elbow or sleeve, and not into their hands!”
Information about novel influenza A (H1N1) is available on the County Department of Health’s website at www.cmchealth.net.
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