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April 28, 2009
For immediate release
Information Line for Human Swine Influenza
“In an attempt to assist with screening and education, we are advising Islanders who are experiencing symptoms of mild influenza-like illness and have traveled to Mexico within the last 10 days (or have come into contact with someone who is sick and has traveled to Mexico within the last 10 days) to call the Department of Health’s toll-free line if they develop particular symptoms,” said Dr. Heather Morrison, Chief Health Officer for the Department of Health. “These symptoms include a fever of 38 degrees Celsius or higher, sore throat, cough, headaches, body aches, chills or pain. We hope that this toll-free number will not only help the public, but will also help to assist physicians.”
The toll-free number is 1-888-748-5454 and there will be someone available to answer calls Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Outside of these hours, individuals will be able to leave a message.
Those individuals who are experiencing severe symptoms are asked to go to the nearest Emergency Department or, if they are having an emergency, to call 911.
Human Swine Influenza is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A influenza viruses. People do not normally get swine influenza, but human infections can and do happen. This new strain of human swine influenza does spread from person to person.