Michigan Identifies 17 New Probable Cases of Influenza A (H1N1) Virus - Probable cases in Michigan total 37

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  May 3, 2009 - 12:08 p.m.  

For more information contact: Joint Information Center 888-EMD-TODAY (888-363-8632) 
Release #: 10      
LANSING, Mich. - The State of Michigan today announced it has identified 17 new probable cases of Influenza A (H1N1) virus, bringing the state total of probable cases to 37.  The 17 new probable cases include one in Allegan County, six in Kent County, four in Livingston County, four in Macomb County, one in Ottawa County and one in Wayne County.  

All of the probable cases are being sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to determine if they are confirmed.  Due to an influx of samples from around the country, the CDC has indicated that once a specimen is received in their lab, test results are not expected for at least 72 hours.  To date, the CDC has confirmed two cases of the Influenza A (H1N1) virus in Michigan - one in Livingston County and one in Ottawa County.   

To date, probable cases have been reported in:

  • Allegan County - 1 probable case
  • Hillsdale County - 0 probable cases *Note: There was a reporting discrepancy yesterday - one probable case was reported in Hillsdale County; this case is now included in the Ottawa County probable case count. 
  • Kent County - 12 probable cases
  • Livingston County - 4 probable cases
  • Macomb County - 6 probable cases
  • Muskegon County - 1 probable case
  • Ottawa County - 12 probable cases
  • Wayne County - 1 probable case

The State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) and Joint Information Center (JIC) continue to operate under partial activation.  Over the past several days, Michigan has taken several steps in response to the Influenza A (H1N1) virus outbreak across the country.  Some of the actions include:  

  • The Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) is ensuring the state has adequate medication for those most in need. Additional doses of antiviral drugs were distributed statewide on May 1; 
  • The Michigan State Police Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division (MSP/EMHSD) has been monitoring the viral outbreak situation since the first notice occurred on April 24; 
  • The State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) has been partially activated since  
    April 27; the Joint Information Center (JIC) has been operational since April 28;
  • The MDCH is coordinating with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and local public health officials in Livingston and Ottawa counties;
  • The MDCH is continuing to initially process potential specimens and is working with the CDC to determine specific strains of the virus in those specimens;  
  • The MDCH Community Health Emergency Coordination Center (CHECC) has been fully activated to collect and analyze public health information from local partners and provide updated information; 
  • The Michigan Department of Agriculture (MDA) continues to work with the United States Department of Agriculture requesting that all state veterinarians report to the USDA Veterinary Services any cases of Influenza A (H1N1) in live animals; 
  • The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) informed medical waste haulers to review the CDC Web site and take precautionary measures for handling, transporting and treating waste; 

The State of Michigan has developed a central Web site for Michigan H1N1 information at the following address: www.michigan.gov/swineflu .

  • The Michigan Department of Community Health is advising citizens to review the common-sense steps everyone can take right now, including:  
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer; 
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you sneeze or cough; throw the tissue in the trash after you use it;
  • Try to avoid close contact with individuals who appear sick; 
  • Stay home from school or work if you are sick; 
  • Keep a safe distance from people you have contact with, a behavior called social-distancing.

Additionally, citizens can call the Michigan 2-1-1 public information line regarding this outbreak of the Influenza A (H1N1) virus.  Michigan 2-1-1, sponsored by the Michigan Association of United Ways, is available 24-hours per day, seven days per week. 

The Michigan Department of Agriculture (MDA) reminds citizens that Influenza A (H1N1) virus is not currently affecting animal health.  To date, there are no reports of this strain in U.S. swine herds.  In addition, this is not a food safety issue; pork is safe to eat and there is no evidence people can contract this illness from eating cooked pork.  Citizens should continue to properly handle pork and pork products and cook pork to an internal temperature of 160°F, which kills any potential viruses. 

All updates to provide Michigan residents with accurate and timely information on the human outbreak of the Influenza A (H1N1) virus, as well as updates on the state's actions to protect residents, are available at www.michigan.gov/swineflu  

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NOTE:  All media inquiries are being handled by the Joint Information Center (JIC) at 888-EMD-TODAY (888-363-8632).  

The JIC will be operational until 2 p.m. today.   There will be no media briefing/conference call today.  The JIC will re-open on Monday, May 4 at    9 a.m.