Three Cases Of Swine Flu Confirmed
In what is now deemed a national emergency, confirmed cases of H1N1 are continuing to rise across the nation and in Pennsylvania with larger, more urban areas such as Allegheny County and Philadelphia posting the largest number of positive cases ranging from 730 to 569, respectively.
In an announcement shared with Fulton County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) by the state Department of Health (DOH), Fulton County has a total of three confirmed cases of swine Fulton as of last Wednesday. Information such as age, gender, name or location cannot be divulged by the Department of Health due to concerns with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) complications.
Additional reports from the Department of Health show neighboring Huntingdon County has a total of 10 confirmed cases, while Franklin County reportedly has 22 positive cases. Nothing has been confirmed to date in Bedford County.
Furthermore, a recent administrative report released last Tuesday by Southern Fulton School District Superintendent Ralph Scott confirms one student at their elementary facility has been officially diagnosed with swine flu.
In his announcement, Scott went on to say staff and faculty are continuing to do their best with minimizing the impact of the flu season through additional cleanings, providing hand sanitizer in various locations and reminding students to practice hand washing and proper hygiene. Scott added bus contractors have also been given a supply of Lysol to aid in their cleaning efforts.
“The Department of Health has been adamant that schools should close only as a last resort and after consultation with DOH,” he concluded.
According to county EMA Director Vince Joyce, the H1N1 vaccine is expected to begin trickling into the county in the very near future for those considered to be in “high risk” categories. In addition, Joyce noted a small dosage for healthcare workers has already been received by Fulton County Medical Center.
Production of the swine flu vaccine is reportedly well behind original projections given by the federal government that estimated a distribution of 120 million doses by last week. Only 13 million have been shipped.
Joyce indicated a mass vaccination for the general public is tentatively slated to be offered by the Department of Health between mid-November and mid- December. Current plans call for a three-day vaccination held daily from 8 a.m. through 8 p.m.
The swine flu has resulted in the death of more than 800 people in the nation, which includes 86 children. Thirty-nine of those children have died within the last six weeks, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention publicly