September 3, 2009
For immediate release
Department of Health Continues Surveillance for H1N1 Flu Virus
“We continue to focus on surveillance, prevention and preparing to care for those who might become ill,” said Dr. Heather Morrison, Chief Health Officer for the PEI Department of Health. “As part of our ongoing surveillance and planning, we will be working with the Department of Education to track absenteeism rates in schools and we continue planning around influenza assessment sites, antiviral distribution and vaccination clinics.”
The Department recently posted new national guidelines for childcare programs, schools and post secondary education on the Department of Health website. These guidelines provide national guidance around self-care, monitoring, isolation and cleaning. The guidelines can be viewed at www.gov.pe.ca/health. Along with other jurisdictions, the PEI Department of Health now reports influenza cases for the province on a weekly basis, the same way that cases are reported during the regular influenza season. This is to determine the extent of the influenza virus in the community.
Also, as part of ongoing surveillance, the Department will be working with the Department of Education to track school absenteeism related to influenza-like illness.
The total number of laboratory confirmed cases reported in Prince Edward Island is 13 cases. All cases were mild and those affected have recovered.
Islanders are reminded that everyone can help slow the spread of viruses through prevention. These measures include washing hands thoroughly and often, covering coughs and sneezes with an arm or elbow and staying home if you have flu-like symptoms, which include fever, cough, muscle aches, headaches and sore throat.