Maine Government News
U.S. CDC Confirms First H1N1 Case in Maine
May 4, 2009
AUGUSTA – The United States Centers for Disease Control confirmed a case from York County as being positive for H1N1 influenza, marking the first nationally confirmed case in Maine.
The total number of cases in Maine remains the same: two adults in Kennebec County, three adults and one youth in York County, and one youth in Penobscot County. All have suffered mild symptoms and are recovering.
Dr. Dora Anne Mills, Director of the Maine CDC, praised the people of Maine for their effort in helping to contain this disease. “I am impressed by the good job that everyone is doing. People are staying informed, following proper hygiene and taking the proper precautions around this virus,’’ she said.
Local public health and school officials continue to study guidance and evaluate the U.S. CDC’s suggested social mitigation strategies to contain the H1N1 virus, including advice on closing schools, avoiding crowds and limiting public gatherings.
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. As the number of cases increases, U.S. CDC is unlikely to verify every occurrence of the H1N1 virus.
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.
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: www.mainepublichealth.gov; or 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