Health Department is monitoring flu-like outbreak in Vermont

THIS IS AN EXERCISE: THIS IS NOT A REAL EVENT.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 11, 2008
Media Contact: Vermont Health Department
802-951-1261

WATERBURY – The Vermont Health Department is alerting the public that overnight seven Vermont hospitals admitted a small number of patients exhibiting flu-like symptoms, including high fever and severe respiratory systems.

The Department also received confirmation that there has been a limited human-to-human transmission of influenza A H5N1, or bird flu, in Romania. The Health Department is investigating the link between these cases.  In response, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control will begin distributing anti-viral medications to states within the next 48 hours.

Because of the wide geographic area of patients and their similar and severe symptoms, VDH is closely monitoring the situation and has activated its statewide emergency response team and is working closely with hospitals around the state.  VDH recommends normal precautions in avoiding exposure to the flu, including frequent hand washing and maintaining safe social distances.

The Health Operations Center and the State Emergency Operations Center have been activated and are following response plans.

Vermont Emergency Management will update this information throughout the day as it becomes available.  There will be more details at a press briefing at 1:00 at the Vermont Health Department.

For more information, the public can dial 2-1-1 or go to http://healthvermont.gov, and click on Medical Surge Exercise.

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