Swine Flu Information from Pella Regional Health Center

Human cases of swine influenza A (H1N1) have been identified in the United States.  This is a new influenza, and people have no immunity to it.  Some of these identified cases have been in the Midwest, but at this time, there are no reported cases in Iowa.  The cases in the United States appear to be linked to cases reported in Mexico.  Cases in the United States have been much milder than those in Mexico.

The swine influenza virus appears to be spread from one person to another.  Swine influenza viruses are not transmitted by food, and a person cannot get swine flu from eating pork products.  As with seasonal influenza, you can help prevent the spread of swine flu by taking these precautions:

  • When you cough or sneeze, cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or your sleeve (if you do not have a tissue). Throw used tissues in a trash can.
  • After you cough or sneeze, wash your hands with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand gel.
  • If you are ill with a respiratory illness (coughing and sneezing), stay home from work or school so you don't make others sick. Again, stay home if you are sick with a respiratory illness.
  • Avoid close contact with others who are coughing or appear to be ill.
  • Symptoms of swine influenza include fever greater than 100 F, along with cough, sore throat, headache and body aches, and extreme tiredness. Some people have also reported diarrhea and vomiting associated with swine flu. If you have any of these symptoms, contact your healthcare provider.

If you have recently visited Mexico and develop swine flu symptoms within seven to ten days after your return, please contact your healthcare provider.  Pella Regional Health Center patients with recent visits to Mexico AND symptoms should call 641-628-3150 and identify yourself as a suspected case of swine flu to the operator so we can be aware of your exposure.  As recommended by public health officials, the first level of screening will be done by triage nurses over the phone.  All swine flu testing at Pella Regional will be done in our Emergency Department. 

The most up-to-date information about swine influenza is available from the Centers for Disease Control (http://www.cdc.gov/) and the Iowa Department of Public Health (http://www.idph.state.ia.us/).  A page of resources-general information, frequently asked questions and key facts-can be found at www.idph.state.ia.us/adper/swine_flu.asp.

Pella Regional Health Center is working closely with the Marion County Public Health Department, the Iowa Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control to monitor the response surrounding this outbreak.  Marion County Public Health Department will distribute information through KNIA/KRLS.  The Iowa Department of Public Health has established a call center to answer questions from the public regarding Swine Influenza.  That number is 800-447-1985.  It will be answered 24 hours a day.