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New Mexico State University

SWINE FLU IN NEW MEXICO: Important information and links

  • PSA Swine Flu in Espanol (mp3)
    This Public Service Announcement for Spanish speakers can be used locally with radio or any other media. This was developed by Alianzas (a program of MU Extension) using CDC documents to reach Hispanics that cannot read.

Logo for Center for Infectous Disease Reasearch And Policy (University of Minnesota)

CIDRAP News Headlines

Mon Apr 27 17:41:36 CDT 2009

WHO raises pandemic alert to phase 4

The World Health Organization today raised its official pandemic alert level from the current phase 3 to phase 4 on its 6-phase scale, saying the newly identified swine influenza virus has made a pandemic more likely but not inevitable. Read article...

As US swine flu cases double, some travel to Mexico discouraged

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today confirmed 20 more swine influenza cases, all connected to previous cases at a New York City high school, and said federal officials will issue new travel advice urging against nonessential travel to Mexico. Read article...

Contaminated sprout seeds suspected in Salmonella outbreaks

Federal health officials yesterday warned consumers not to eat raw alfalfa sprouts, including blends that contain the sprouts, until further notice, because the seeds used by growers around the country may be contaminated with Salmonella. Read article...


New Mexico Department of Health Notification Message dated April 27

-----Original Message-----
From: NM Health Alert Network [mailto:health.alert@cw.nmhealth.org]
Sent: Monday, April 27, 2009 7:16 PM
To: Dictson, Billy
Subject: NM Dept of Health Notification Message ID 926

!!! NM Dept of Health General Notification
Message !!! Message ID 926 Sent 4/27/2009 7:16:06 PM Mountain Time

THIS A NEW MEXICO HEALTH UPDATE -- Swine
Influenza Update to the April 23, 2009 Advisory and April 24, 2009 Update

This information is being sent to infection control practitioners, hospitals, physicians, primary and urgent care contacts and facilities, occupational medicine clinics, long-term care facilities, student health clinics, schools, first responders, emergency managers, IHS contacts and facilities, CHRs, environmental and public health contacts, veterinarians, agricultural contacts, elected/appointed officials.

*** PLEASE DISTRIBUTE THIS INFORMATION FREELY. ***

=== TO SCHOOL HEALTH ADVOCATES AND SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENTS: You are reminded to forward this notification to the school nurses in your region/district. ===

===TO COUNTY FIRE AND EMS OFFICIALS: You are reminded to forward this notification to the district/volunteer departments/services in your county. ===

===============================================
Summary:

This is a New Mexico Department of Health swine influenza update to the advisory and update that we sent on April 23 and 24, 2009, respectively. This update also includes newly available guidance.

===============================================
Detailed Message:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed that there are 40 cases of swine influenza in the United States. There are 28 cases in New York, 7 in California, 2 in Kansas, 2 in Texas and 1 in Ohio. The Ohio case and the Kansas and New York cases traveled to Mexico within the seven days prior to illness onset.

Yesterday, the United States government declared a public health emergency. This frees up assets to assist in the control of disease spread.

Human-to-human transmission appears to be ongoing.

Preliminary testing showed that the viruses are susceptible (sensitive) to the influenza antiviral medications oseltamivir and zanamivir and resistant to amantidine and rimantidine.

HEIGHTENED SURVEILLANCE FOR POSSIBLE SWINE INFLUENZA

  • Because of concern about human-to-human transmission of swine influenza, enhanced statewide influenza surveillance in New Mexico is necessary to determine if cases are occurring here. INFORMATION HAS CHANGED SINCE THE LAST UPDATE SO PLEASE READ CAREFULLY BELOW.
  • HOSPITALIZED PATIENTS: Until otherwise notified, we ask that specimens be collected (see below) from patients who have acute febrile respiratory illness (defined as influenza-like illness [ILI} in New Mexico) and are hospitalized in New Mexico with suspect or confirmed influenza.
    • INFLUENZA-LIKE ILLNESS DEFINITION (ILI): Fever greater or equal to 37.8 C (100 F), oral or equivalent, AND a cough and/or sore throat in absence of a known cause other than influenza.
  • INFLUENZA SENTINEL PROVIDERS: We also ask that influenza sentinel surveillance providers in New Mexico collect specimens from outpatients who meet the definition for influenza-like illness above.
  • ALL OTHER HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS: If your patient meets the definition for influenza-like illness with illness onset:
    • within 7 days of close contact with a person who is a confirmed case of swine influenza A (H1N1) virus infection, or
    • within 7 days of travel to community either within the United States or internationally where there are one or more confirmed swine influenza A(H1N1) cases, or
    • resides in a community where there are one or more confirmed swine influenza cases;

we ask that you collect a nasopharyngeal swab for viral culture and call the Epidemiology and Response Division epidemiologist on-call at 505-827-0006.

Persons with acute febrile respiratory illness should stay home from work or school to avoid spreading infections (including influenza and other respiratory illnesses) to others in their communities. In addition, frequent hand washing can lessen the spread of respiratory illness. If your condition worsens or you have questions about your illness, please contact your health care provider.

SPECIMEN COLLECTION: Please collect up to 2 (one for your in-house rapid testing and one for the state lab culture) nasopharyngeal swab from each patient with ILI, placing the swab in a standard container with 2-3 ml of viral transport media. If the patient is hospitalized with pneumonia, specimens from the lower respiratory tract (e.g., tracheal aspirate, bronchoalveolar lavage) should also be obtained. Specimens should be collected within the first 24-72 hours of onset of symptoms and no later than 5 days after onset of symptoms.

Specimens should be shipped to: Scientific Laboratory Division, 700 Camino De Salud NE, Albuquerque, NM 87106 (505) 841-2500.

SPECIMEN STORAGE: The specimens should be kept refrigerated at 4° C and sent on cold packs if they can be received by the Scientific Lab Division (State PH lab) within 72 hours of the collection date. If samples will not be received by the laboratory within 72 hours of collection, they must be frozen at -70° C or below and shipped on dry ice.

CDC has not recommended that people avoid travel to affected areas at this time. Recommendations found at http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/contentSwineFluUS.aspx will help travelers reduce risk of infection and stay healthy.

NEWLY AVAILABLE GUIDANCE:

New guidance is available at http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/guidance/ including:

  • Interim Guidance on Antiviral Recommendations for Patients with Confirmed or Suspected Swine Influenza A (H1N1) Virus Infection and Close Contacts
  • Interim Guidance for Swine influenza A (H1N1): Taking Care of a Sick Person in Your Home
  • Interim Recommendations for Facemask and Respirator Use in Certain Community Settings Where Swine Influenza A (H1N1) Virus Transmission Has Been Detected
  • Swine Influenza A (H1N1) Virus Biosafety Guidelines for Laboratory Workers
  • Interim Guidance for Infection Control for Care of Patients with Confirmed or Suspected Swine Influenza A (H1N1) Virus Infection in a Healthcare Setting
  • Interim Guidance on Case Definitions to be Used For Investigations of Swine Influenza A (H1N1) Cases

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports Dispatch (April 24) provides detailed information about the initial cases at http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm58d0424a1.htm

For more information about swine flu: http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/

Additional information is also available by calling 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636)

===============================================
Health alerts are messages from the New Mexico Department of Health that contain important information for responding to a health emergency. Health alerts are sent to health care providers, emergency responders, first responders, and other affiliated professionals.

There are four types of messages that come from the Health Alert Network (HAN):

ALERT: Conveys the highest level of importance; warrants immediate action or attention.

ADVISORY: Provides important information for a specific incident or situation; may not require immediate action.

UPDATE: Provides updated information regarding an incident or situation; unlikely to require immediate action.

TEST: Tests the alerting system technologies, the ability to reach the intended recipients, or provides simulated alerts for exercise purposes.

If you have questions about the Health Alert Network, please contact the HAN at health.alert@cw.nmhealth.org.


Message from the Director of Dairy Confidence and Medical Outreach

From: Marble, Heather M.
Cc: Dairy Max Distribution
Sent: Tue Apr 28 06:52:30 2009
Subject: FYI on Swine Flu
April 28, 2009

TO: Dairy Max Board, Dairy Farmer Spokespersons and Scientific Advisors

FROM: Teresa Wagner

RE: Swine Flu

CC: Mike Konkle and Dairy Max Staff


Dear Dairy Industry Spokesperson,

Amid mounting public concern about swine flu, DMI is monitoring closely and working with NMPF to understand potential implications for the U.S. livestock community. According to technical experts, the virus is NOT transmissible to cattle, and cattle are not reservoirs of the virus like swine and birds can be.

The National Pork Board (NPB) and National Pork Producers Council are reassuring the public that pork continues to be safe to eat, with up-to-date information at www.pork.org . While there is no evidence that this swine influenza subtype is present in pigs in the United States or elsewhere, the pork industry is also encouraging U.S. pork producers to maintain strict biosecurity procedures on their farms. We believe it is prudent for dairy producers to maintain their vigilance on biosecurity as well.

Links to authoritative information for dairy producers about on-farm security and communication tips are posted at www.Dairyresponse.com/resources/On_Farm_Security.cfm .

In keeping with Dairyresponse.coms mission of being a resource to producers on animal health/animal disease outbreaks, DMI is posting a brief situation update to address the news and provide links to authoritative information. There is no need to proactively circulate the information at this time.

Please let me know if you have any questions or need any help, and please keep me posted if you receive inquiries locally so we can be sure to address any concerns that arise.

Thanks, Teresa
Teresa Wagner, MS, RD/LD
Director of Dairy Confidence and Medical Outreach
Dairy Max Incorporated
P.O. Box 16735
Fort Worth, TX 76162-0735
Phone 817-370-0488
Fax 817-370-0833
Cell 682-429-6338
www.dairymax.org


Press Briefing on Swine Influenza with Department of Homeland Security, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and White House - April 26, 2009


CNN Health - CDC: Swine flu viruses in U.S. and Mexico match

  • Story Highlights
  • NEW: Swine flu found in U.S. is the same that killed at least 60 in Mexico
  • NEW: The latest U.S. case of swine flu occurred in California, the CDC says
  • Eight cases of the strain of swine flu have been confirmed in humans in the U.S.

(CNN) -- U.S. health officials expressed concern Friday that a swine flu virus that has infected eight people in the United States matches samples of a virus that has killed at least 60 people in Mexico.


New Mexico Livestock Board News: Swine Influenza Information

The brief notice below has some helpful tips and links for more information on the swine flu situation.

Information About Swine Flu

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security:

  • People cannot get swine influenza from eating pork or pork products. Most influenza viruses, including the swine flu virus, are not spread by food.
  • Eating properly handled and cooked pork products is safe.
  • No food safety issues have been identified, related to the flu.
  • Preliminary investigations have determined that none of the people infected with the flu had contact with hogs.
  • The virus is spreading by human-to-human transmission.

The CDC recommends the following measures to prevent the transmission of flu:

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands frequently and use alcohol-based sanitizers.
  • Try not touch surfaces that may be contaminated with the flu virus.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Try to stay in good general health.
  • Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.

Detailed information and updates on the flu outbreak may be obtained at:

If you own swine, consider the following practices to enhance the biosecurity on your farm to prevent the disease from being transmitted to your herd:

  • Workers should shower and change into farm-specific clothes and shoes before entering swine facilities.
  • Establish, implement and enforce strict sick leave policies for workers presenting influenza-like symptoms.
  • Recommend that workers with symptoms be seen by a medical provider immediately.
  • Restrict the entry of people into your facility to only workers and essential service personnel.
  • Prevent international visitors from entering your facilities.
  • Ensure adequate ventilation in facilities to minimize re-circulation of air inside animal housing facilities.
  • Vaccinate pigs against the influenza virus. Vaccination of pigs can reduce the levels of virus shed by infected animals
  • Contact your swine veterinarian if swine exhibit flu-like or respiratory illness, especially if the onset or presentation of the illness is unusual.
  • Notify the New Mexico Livestock Board at (505) 841-6161, after you have contacted your veterinarian.

The New Mexico Livestock Board is ready to assist with on-farm investigations, if pigs are present where a known human case has occurred, and to assist with epidemiological investigations with any human cases that may have links to swine in New Mexico.

More information for producers may be obtained at:


Statement By Secretary Of Agriculture Vilsack Regarding Human Cases Of Swine Influenza A (H1N1)


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Advisory
April 24, 2009
Contact: Cindy Cunningham
ccunningham@pork.org
(515) 210-1263

The following information was forwarded to producers regarding the new strain of the swine influenza virus type H1N1 being reported by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Please help us is distributing this information to pork producers.

The National Pork Board is urging pork producers to enhance the biosecurity plans on their farms as the result of a new strain of the swine influenza virus type H1N1 being reported by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The virus is unique and has not been seen in the U.S. swine herd.

At this time, no pigs have been found to be infected or sick with the virus. It is unknown if this new strain causes any type of illness in swine. However, because it is novel, the National Pork Board is urging producers to take extra precaution to protect our industry's workers and our animals.

To prevent the introduction of the new strain of swine influenza virus type H1N1 into your operation, follow good biosecurity practices. Because people have been reported sick with this virus, make sure your biosecurity practices place special emphasis on protecting your animals and your operation's workers by monitoring all persons having access to your operation.

Consider the following practices:

  1. Establish, implement and enforce strict sick leave policies for workers presenting influenza-like symptoms such as fever, cough, body aches, and sometimes vomiting and diarrhea.
    • Prevent worker exhibiting these symptoms from entering swine facilities for at least seven days after presenting symptoms of respiratory illness, even mild ones.
    • Recommend that workers with these symptoms be seen by a medical provider immediately and recommend that the person's contact with pigs is communicated to the care provider during the visit
    • Encourage workers to report if members of their household present influenza-like symptoms. Encourage them to receive medical attention and to share that a member of the household has contact with pigs. Encourage workers to report if a member of the household is diagnosed with influenza. Consider restricting the contact that this worker has with the animals.
  2. Implement biosecurity for workers reporting international travel.
    • This recommendation is not limited to those people who had contact with animals in foreign countries.
    • Consider preventing the entry of worker who have travelled internationally, and particularly to Mexico, into your operation.
    • If entry is essential, consider requiring that these people use face masks, or preferably N95 respirators, and gloves, upon entering and during their permanence inside a swine housing facility.
    • If workers reporting international travel present influenza-like symptoms, restrict their access to the farm. Recommend that they seek immediate medical attention and that they report their travel to the medical professional.
  3. Limit visitors to swine facilities
    • Limit the entry of people into your facility to workers and essential service personnel.
    • Prevent international visitors from entering your facilities.
    • Prevent the entry of people who report international travel (especially from Mexico) as recently as in the past two weeks.
  4. Follow other generally accepted biosecurity practices, including:
    • Pay attention to ventilation - Ventilation systems in production facilities should be designed to minimize re-circulation of air inside animal housing facilities. This is important to reduce the exposure of pigs to viruses from other pigs, to reduce their exposure to human influenza viruses.
    • Enforce basic hygiene practices -
      • Workers should shower and change into farm-specific clothes and shoes before entering swine facilities. If this is not possible, enforce at least the use of farm shoes and hand and arm washing before contact with pigs.
      • Recommend frequent hand-washing of workers, in barns and in offices.
    • Implement and enforce the use of personal protective equipment - Provide basic personal protective equipment (PPE) to the people working in barns. This should include face masks, or preferably respirators; eye protection and gloves.
    • Vaccinate pigs against the influenza virus - Vaccination of pigs can reduce the levels of virus shed by infected animals
    • Recommend that all workers are vaccinated against the seasonal influenza virus - The vaccine is produced on a yearly basis and contains only human, not swine, strains of influenza viruses. Nonetheless, these vaccines are likely to provide some level of protection against infection with swine viruses of the same type. Vaccination of farm workers will reduce the amounts of viruses they shed if infected during human influenza outbreaks, and limit the potential for human influenza virus infection of pigs.

If you observe, or employees report, respiratory illness in pigs, contact a swine veterinarian immediately, especially if the onset or presentation of this illness is unusual. If deemed necessary, your veterinarian may require samples be taken from animals to send to veterinary diagnostic laboratories. If animals present fever or go off feed, the veterinarian may take lung tissues samples and nasal swabs to send to a veterinary diagnostic laboratory.

If you have workers collect the samples, require that they use personal protective equipment including an N95 respirator, gloves and safety goggles.

Talk to your veterinarian if influenza-like symptoms have been reported or observed in any of the people that have or have had contact with your animals and report that upon submission of the samples to a diagnostic laboratory.

For more information visit pork.org as updates will be posted there as they become available.

The National Pork Board has responsibility for Checkoff-funded research, promotion and consumer information projects and for communicating with pork producers and the public.Through a legislative national Pork Checkoff, pork producers invest $0.40 for each $100 value of hogs sold.The Pork Checkoff funds national and state programs in advertising, consumer information, retail and foodservice marketing, export market promotion, production improvement, technology, swine health, pork safety and environmental management.For information on Checkoff-funded programs, pork producers can call the Pork Checkoff Service Center at (800) 456-PORK or check the Internet at www.pork.org.


Useful Links and Documents

Links to information on the web regarding the swine flu investigation.

Links to Government Sites

  • http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/
    This website contains information about swine flu, CDC's Health Advisory, and the status of the investigation.
  • http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/
    CDC Travelers' Health offers information to assist travelers and their health-care providers in deciding the vaccines, medications, and other measures necessary to prevent illness and injury during international travel.
  • http://www.hhs.gov/
    This website contains a link to the WHO report, provides everyday preventive actions, and a press release from the Acting HHS Secretary declaring a public health emergency.

Documents

  • Business Pandemic Influenza Planning Checklist
    In the event of pandemic in uenza, businesses will play a key role in protecting employees health and safety as well as limiting the negative impact to the economy and society. Planning for pandemic in uenza is critical. To assist you in your efforts, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have developed the following checklist for large businesses.

Talking with Kids about fears of "Swine Flu"

I agree that "Children's fears stem from their imaginations, and adults should take these feelings seriously." However, their fears are sometimes put into their imaginations by the way in which a matter is handled. Parents, caretakers, and teachers should be as fact-based as possible. Not alarmist. Not "drama queens."

Fact-based discussions with children should be tailored to the child's chronological age and developmental stage. At this time, the fact apparently is that in the U.S. the swine flu is very similar to other flu viruses we experience. Children learn about covering their coughs and washing/sanitizing their hands at very early ages in our schools. Reinforcement of this advice can be made. The hand washing also can be turned into a fun activity. And, if there are two or more children involved, you could turn this into an "each one teach one" event.

Many children already have experienced some type of flu, and so they should already be familiar with what the flu feels like, and what they have done in the past to feel better and get well. E.g.: Drinking lots of fluid, resting, staying calm, taking any medications that have been prescribed, taking measures (cough covering, hand washing) to keep the germs off of them and others), and so on.

Children also can be engaged in family preparations in case the flu does strike. They can go to the store and help get the juice, soup, hand sanitizers, etc. If they are allowed to help with this, then they probably can be more able to respond if the flu does come. They also probably will feel as if they can thwart the effects of the flu, rather than be overwhelmed by them.

I think that the greater issue of dealing with children at this time is dealing with the adults who are significant in their lives. What types of outreach are being given to the schools and day cares? Parents? Are any town meetings being held? Is there a need to hold town meetings?

I also would encourage those creating and reporting the news about this to stick with the facts, identify sources of information, free sources of guides, and so on. Leave out the drama. I also would encourage news stations to carry other news as well. It is important that all of us at this time monitor ourselves such that we serve the public.

We - all of us -have to work such that children are not frightened, can address situations, and be rational about them.