DHHS Seeks to Limit H1N1 Spread at State Facilities as Flu Activity Remains Widespread

State-operated hospitals, residential schools, developmental disability centers, neuro-medical treatment centers and alcohol and drug treatment centers have implemented steps to limit the spread of the H1N1 influenza virus.  Effective today, all state facilities will actively screen all staff and visitors to identify people exhibiting signs of respiratory infections. Visitors with flu symptoms will not be permitted to visit patients or residents until they are no longer sick.  Employees who develop fever or influenza-like symptoms are being told to stay home or, if already on the job, make arrangements to leave and avoid contact with other employees and patients/residents. Several private hospitals have already implemented similar procedures, with some facilities not allowing visitors age 18 or younger.  Flu-related information and updates will be made available on the state’s facilities website at: http://www.ncdhhs.gov/mhfacilities/index.htm.

H1N1 continues to be the predominant flu strain seen by the State Public Health Laboratory as the new flu seasons enters its third week this Sunday. The latest Influenza Summary labels the level of influenza activity in North Carolina  as widespread.  More influenza-related information from the state Communicable Disease Branch is available at: http://www.epi.state.nc.us/epi/gcdc/flu.html. Additional information concerning pandemic H1N1 influenza is available at: http://www.flu.nc.gov/ and at http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1, where you will find information about vaccine supply and clinical guidance for administering flu vaccine.

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