Maine CDC Press Release

April 30, 2009

H1N1 Case Identified In Penobscot County

Governor's Office

AUGUSTA – The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention has identified a youth from Penobscot County as having the H1N1 flu.

Dr. Dora Anne Mills, Director of the Maine CDC, said that since the youth has not attended school in nearly two weeks, U.S. CDC recommends the school may remain open. Commissioner of Education Susan Gendron and state health officials discussed the situation with public schools officials today.

There has been confusion resulting from terminology used to describe cases of H1N1. In some instances, cases have been called "confirmed" or "probable." A probable case means that tests performed by Maine CDC show a person has H1N1. Probable cases are then sent to U.S. CDC for final confirmation.

"Suspicious" cases involve individuals who, through a combination of factors, are considered to have H1N1 but no final conclusion has been reached through testing.

Maine CDC has found: one adult in Kennebec County who has H1N1, one adult in York County and one child in Penobscot County.

In addition, two children in York County are being treated as "suspicious" cases. They display symptoms of the flu and have had household contact with an adult with the flu. Following U.S. CDC guidelines, these cases lead to the closing of a school and day care in York County.

A second person in Kennebec County initially tested positive for H1N1 on Wednesday. A follow-up test revealed that the person does not have the H1N1 flu, but instead seasonal flu.

Dr. Mills re-iterated the need for people to stay informed, be prepared, and most importantly practice proper respiratory hygiene, including the following steps:

  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or sleeve.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hands cleaners are also effective.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • If you get sick, stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to avoid infecting them.

"If you have traveled to areas of the country with influenza and become sick with a fever and respiratory symptoms within seven days of returning, you should call your health care provider with the information about your symptoms and where you traveled," Mills said.

For facts about influenza, and more information about H1N1 flu, please visit the Maine CDC and U.S. CDC Web sites. Some specific resources:

Maine CDC Web site on Swine Flu: http://www.mainepublichealth.gov

http://www.maine.gov/dhhs/boh/swine-flu-2009.shtml

U.S. CDC Web site on Swine Flu: http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/

Preventing the Flu: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/habits.htm