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10.29.09

Current Current guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding protection of health care workers can be found at:

http://www.flu.gov/professional/hospital/infectioncontrolguidance.html.

Of particular interest is the recommendation for N95 respirators for health care workers with known or suspected cases of H1N1. Please review this document and assure that clinic staff are taking appropriate precautions.

Flu activity in Texas remains widespread, which means that at least half of the state's health regions have seen a significant increase in activity. Flu activity is higher than normal for this time of year, and 46 states are reporting widespread influenza. Flu activity in Texas is higher than normal for this time of year, however, has not caused health care resource issues at this time. Some hospitals statewide (42 of 443) have implemented surge control measures to control clinic and ER overloading. Typically triage areas are established outside of the facility to evaluate patient needs.

H1N1 vaccine shipments to Texas continue. Quantities are still relatively small, as anticipated, however shipments will continue until needs are met. It is expected that Texas will receive up to 15 million doses by the end of January. To date, a total of 1.7 million doses of the H1N1 vaccine have been allotted to Texas by the CDC.

Approximately one-third of vaccines are the nasal mist type and two-thirds are injectable form.

There have been concerns about some of the vaccine containing preservatives that some believe are potentially harmful tot he developing fetus. CDC and TDSHS indicate that there is no evidence that the vaccine is harmful for pregnant women. A limited amount of preservative-free vaccine is available, however, pregnant women should consult with their healthcare provider to determine which vaccine is appropriate for them.

Vaccine allocation at this time is primarily directed to healthcare workers and the highest risk populations. The priority populations for vaccination at this time include healthcare workers, children less than five years of age (especially those under age two), persons over 65 years of age, pregnant women, and persons with chronic health conditions that may lead to complications from the flu.

CDC allocates vaccine to the various state health departments each week based on populations (pro-rata). TDSHS then apportions Texas' allotment based on vaccine formulation, priority vaccination groups, geography and other factors.

There continues to be widespread flu in the public school system. There have been a number of school closings and re-openings. Most schools continue to report that absences due to flu are up, however, not at a level to close schools. Students continue to recover well at home within a few days and return to school.

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board indicates that there have been no reports of any college or university campus closures at this time.

Continue to observe good hygienic practices (hand washing, cough/sneeze etiquette, etc.) to prevent spread of disease.

If you are sick with flu-like illness, stay home from work or school until at least 24 hours after you have been fever-free (without fever-reducing medicine) and symptom free.

For health care providers, CDC guidelines have been revised. You should stay at home from work for at least 24 hours after you have been fever-free and symptom-free, unless you work with immunocompromised patients, in which case you should remain at home for seven days from onset of symptoms or for at least 24 hours after you have been fever-free and symptom free, whichever is longest.

Business Continuity Planning

TDSHS has established a telephone line for questions about flu-like illness. You can now dial 2-1-1 to receive over-the-phone medical guidance about what you should do if you or family members have flu symptoms. The state's 2-1-1 health information helpline is now staffed with medical professionals who can provide information about managing flu symptoms and advice on when to seek medical care from a physician or at an ER.

All TTUHSC departments are advised to review their Business Continuity Plans to assure that personnel are familiar with their roles and responsibilities in implementation of the plans in the event that absenteeism becomes widespread as a result of illness. Information on plan development and implementation is available at www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/business/guidance/

10.22.09

Current guidance from the CDC regarding protection of health care workers can be found at:

http://www.flu.gov/professional/hospital/infectioncontrolguidance.html.

Of particular interest is the recommendation for N95 respirators for health care workers with known or suspected cases of H1N1. Please review this document and assure that clinic staff are taking appropriate precautions.

Flu activity in Texas remains widespread, which means that at least half of the state's health regions have seen a significant increase in activity. Flu activity is higher than normal for this time of year, however, has not caused healthcare resource issues at this time. Some hospitals statewide (42 of 443) have implemented surge control measures to control clinic and ER overloading. Typically triage areas are established outside of the facility to evaluate patient needs.

H1N1 vaccine shipments to Texas continue. Quantities are still relatively small, as anticipated, however shipments will continue until needs are met. It is expected that Texas will receive up to 15 million doses by the end of January. To date, a total of 960,400 doses of the H1N1 vaccine have been allotted to Texas by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  • Approximately one-third of vaccines are the nasal mist type and two-thirds are injectable form.
  • There have been concerns about some of the vaccine containing preservatives that some believe are potentially harmful tot he developing fetus. CDC and TDSHS indicate that there is no evidence that the vaccine is harmful for pregnant women. A limited amount of preservative-free vaccine is available, however, pregnant women should consult with their healthcare provider to determine which vaccine is appropriate for them.
  • Vaccine allocation at this time is primarily directed to healthcare workers and the highest risk populations. The priority populations for vaccination at this time include healthcare workers, children less than five years of age (especially those under age two), persons over 65 years of age, pregnant women, and persons with chronic health conditions that may lead to complications from the flu.
  • CDC allocates vaccine to the various state health departments each week. TDSHS apportions Texas' allotment based on vaccine formulation, priority vaccination groups, geography and other factors.

There continues to be widespread flu in the public school system. There have been a number of school closings and re-openings. Most schools continue to report that absences due to flu are up, however, not at a level to close schools. Students continue to recover well at home within a few days and return to school.

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board indicates that there have been no reports of any college or university campus closures at this time.

Continue to observe good hygienic practices (hand washing, cough/sneeze etiquette, etc.) to prevent spread of disease.

If you are sick with flu-like illness, stay home from work or school until at least 24 hours after you have been fever-free (without fever-reducing medicine) and symptom free. For healthcare providers, you should stay at home for 7 days from onset of symptoms or for at least 24 hours after you have been fever-free and symptom free, whichever is longest.

Business Continuity Planning

TDSHS has established a telephone line for questions about flu-like illness. You can now dial 2-1-1 to receive over-the-phone medical guidance about what you should do if you or family members have flu symptoms. The state's 2-1-1 health information helpline is now staffed with medical professionals who can provide information about managing flu symptoms and advice on when to seek medical care from a physician or emergency room.

All TTUHSC departments are advised to review their Business Continuity Plans to assure that personnel are familiar with their roles and responsibilities in implementation of the plans in the event that absenteeism becomes widespread as a result of illness. Information on plan development and implementation is available at www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/business/guidance/.

Update 10.21.09

Current guidance from the CDC regarding protection of health care workers can be found at: http://www.flu.gov/professional/hospital/infectioncontrolguidance.html.

Of particular interest is the recommendation for N95 respirators for health care workers with known or suspected cases of H1N1. Please review this document and assure that clinic staff are taking appropriate precautions.

Flu activity in Texas remains widespread, which means that at least half of the state's health regions have seen a significant increase in activity. Flu activity is higher than normal for this time of year, however, has not caused healthcare resource issues at this time.

H1N1 vaccine shipments have started. Quantities are small, as anticipated, however, shipments will continue until needs are met. A total of 506,200 doses of the H1N1 vaccine have been allotted to Texas by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention during the first two weeks of national allocation of the vaccine supply.

Texas' allocation for the week that ended Oct. 2 was 142,400 doses, all of it the nasal mist form of the vaccine.

Texas allocation for the week that ended Oct. 9 was 363,800 and included 235,000 doses of the injectable, or shot, form and 128,800 more doses of the mist form.

TDSHS is providing the mist form to some registered providers to vaccinate 2- and 3-year-olds. The shot form supply is being provided to some registered providers to vaccinate pregnant women, 4-year-olds and children 4 years through 18 years of age who are at higher risk of serious consequences should they get the flu.

Some 12,000+ Texas providers have registered to receive the vaccine.

CDC allocates vaccine to the various state health departments each week. TDSHS apportions Texas' allotment based on vaccine formulation, priority vaccination groups, geography and other factors.

There continues to be widespread flu in the public school system. There have been a total of 33 school districts to close statewide, with 26 already re-opened. Most schools continue to report that absences due to flu are up, however, not at a level to close schools. Students continue to recover well at home within a few days and return to school.

Continue to observe good hygienic practices (hand washing, cough/sneeze etiquette, etc.) to prevent spread of disease.

If you are sick with flu-like illness, stay home from work or school until at least 24 hours after you have been fever-free (without fever-reducing medicine) and symptom free. For healthcare providers, you should stay at home for 7 days from onset of symptoms or for at least 24 hours after you have been fever-free and symptom free, whichever is longest.

Business Continuity Planning

TDSHS has established a telephone line for questions about flu-like illness. You can now dial 2-1-1 to receive over-the-phone medical guidance about what you should do if you or family members have flu symptoms. The state's 2-1-1 health information helpline is now staffed with medical professionals who can provide information about managing flu symptoms and advice on when to seek medical care from a physician or emergency room. All TTUHSC departments are advised to review their Business Continuity Plans to assure that personnel are familiar with their roles and responsibilities in implementation of the plans in the event that absenteeism becomes widespread as a result of illness. Information on plan development and implementation is available at www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/business/guidance/. Additional information is available at www.flu.gov/professional/business/index.html, www.ready.gov/business/index.html, and http://www.thecb.state.tx.us/index.

Update 10.7.09

Flu activity is increasing statewide. Current status is "widespread" which means that at least half of the state's health regions have seen a significant increase in activity. Flu activity is higher than normal for this time of year, however, it has not caused health care resource issues at this time.

Current testing for H1N1 is primarily limited to hospital cases. Approximately 99 percent of positive flu tests are H1N1.

Antiviral (particularly oral suspension) were distributed in the state in limited quantity.

Vaccine shipments are slated for late October, early November. Initially numbers of available vaccine will still be limited and early shipments will bein the form of flu-mist, which is recommended for health persons age 2 to 49 years.

There is widespread flu in the public school systems. Presently four Texas school districts with a total of 18 campuses have closed for a couple of days. Most schools report that absences due to flu are up, however, not at a level to close schools. Students are recovering well at home within a few days and returning to school.

There are no higher education closures in the state.

Continue to observe good hygienic practices (hand washing, cough/sneeze etiquette, etc.) to prevent spread of disease.

If you are sick with flu-like illness, stay home from work or school until at least 24 hours after you have been fever-free (without fever-reducing medicine) and symptom free. For healthcare providers, you should stay at home for 7 days from onset of symptoms or for at least 24 hours after you have been fever-free and symptom free, whichever is longest.

The latest Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS) recommendation is that age group 24 months - 48 months be vaccinated first followed by other high-risk groups. Registered pediatric providers are at the top of the priority list to receive vaccinations.

For additional information about priority groups for vaccination, visit www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/vaccination/acip.htm.

We will keep this site updated of any additional changes to our institution's strategy to prevent the spread of flu on our campus.

Update Sept. 30, 2009

Flu activity is increasing statewide. Current status is "widespread" which means that at least half of the state's health regions have seen a significant increase in activity. Flu activity is higher than normal for this time of year, however, has not caused health care resource issues at this time.

Current testing for H1N1 is primarily limited to hospital cases. Approximately 99 percent of positive flu tests are H1N1.

The state is attempting to address the shortage of anti-virals (particularly oral suspension) through utilization of strategic stockpiles distributed to pharmacies.

Vaccine shipments should begin soon. Initially, numbers of available vaccine will be limited.

The latest Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS) recommendation is that age group 24 months - 48 months be vaccinated first followed by other high-risk groups. For additional information about priority groups for vaccination, visit www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/vaccination/acip.htm.

There is widespread flu in the public school systems. Presently four Texas school districts with a total of 18 campuses have closed for a couple of days. Most schools report that absences because of flu are up, however, not at a level to close schools. Students are recovering well at home within a few days and returning to school.

Continue to observe good hygenic practices (hand washing, cough/sneeze etiquette, etc.) to prevent the spread of disease.

If you are sick with flu-like illness, stay home from work or school until at least 24 hours after you have been fever-free (without fever-reducing medicine) and symptom free. For health care providers, you should stay at home for seven days from onset of symptoms for at least 24 hours after you have been fever-free and symptom free, whichever is longest.

Update April 30

The World Health Organization (WHO) has officially changed all references to the current influenza outbreak to H1N1 and the State of Texas has adopted this change.

While we are beginning to see cancellation of some events across the state, as of now TTUHSC will continue to observe normal operating hours.

You may notice some people on campus and in the community wearing masks. It is up to individual members of the Texas Tech community to choose whether to wear masks in public. At this time, neither the Texas Department of State Health Services nor the Centers for Disease Control is recommending the wearing of masks for the general population. Learn more at either the TDSHS or CDC Web site.

Update May 20

Swine Flu - 1 Confirmed Case in Lubbock

Note: The information below was sent in a news release by the City of Lubbock on May 20.

One case of H1N1 flu has been confirmed in Lubbock County. The case is a small child, less than five years old (not school age). A healthcare professional has notified the family of the diagnosis of H1N1 Flu. The child has been treated with Tamiflu and is recovering at home.

The Lubbock Health Department continues to advise everyone to take the following precautions to prevent the spread of any illness:

Update April 30

The World Health Organization (WHO) has officially changed all references to the current influenza outbreak to H1N1 and the State of Texas has adopted this change.

While we are beginning to see cancellation of some events across the state, as of now TTUHSC will continue to observe normal operating hours.

You may notice some people on campus and in the community wearing masks. It is up to individual members of the Texas Tech community to choose whether to wear masks in public. At this time, neither the Texas Department of State Health Services nor the Centers for Disease Control is recommending the wearing of masks for the general population. Learn more at either the TDSHS or CDC Web site.

Update April 27

H1N1 is a respiratory disease that regularly causes outbreaks of influenza among pigs. H1N1 viruses do not normally infect humans, however, since March 2009, a number of confirmed human cases of a new strain of the H1N1 virus infection in the U.S. and internationally have been identified. An investigation into these cases is ongoing. For more information see CDC H1N1 Influenza.