H1N1 virus confirmed in Wauneta PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wauneta Breeze
Friday, 16 October 2009 19:00
By Dave Vrbas
The Wauneta Breeze
The H1N1 virus has officially hit the area.
With two confirmed cases of influenza A subtype H1N1 reported in Wauneta within the past week — resulting from lab tests on a 22-year-old man and 6-year-old boy from the same family — area residents are being reminded to take precautions to protect themselves from this year’s flu pandemic.
On Sunday, Sept. 27, the 22-year-old was flown Flight for Life from the Chase County Community Hospital in Imperial where he was suffering from pneumonia-like symptoms, to the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, where he was placed on a ventilator in the intensive care unit.
The young man, who has other chronic health problems, was diagnosed with the H1N1 strain of influenza, formerly referred to as ‘swine flu,’ at the Omaha hospital. Listed in stable condition earlier this week, he was expected to be released Tuesday for a return to his home.
The 6-year-old, a student at Wauneta-Palisade Public Schools, was later officially diagnosed with the virus, but family members say his bout was far less severe than that of his older family member.
Family members were willing to confirm the diagnosis of H1N1 virus infection, but for privacy purposes, have asked that their names not be released for publication.
The WP school district sent out a letter to parents and guardians of district students on Thursday, Oct. 1, explaining that a student was diagnosed with a confirmed case of H1N1 influenza and detailing steps parents could take to protect their children from contracting the virus or spreading it further.
Of those steps, the school stressed taking each child’s temperature each morning before school, remaining watchful of flu-like symptoms, and allowing them to stay home from school when symptoms present themselves.
Superintendent Nelson Dahl said the school has been and will remain very understanding about the flu season as it pertains to attendance. The most important thing, he said, is communicating with the school regarding your child’s symptoms.
“We don’t want people to feel like they have to come to school if they don’t feel good,” Dahl said. “If you choose to keep your youngster home, it will be excused as long as we know what’s going on.”
The nasal mist H1N1 vaccine began arriving in small quantities in Nebraska on Monday. State health officials said they expect at least 10,000 doses of the nasal spray vaccine to be delivered to Nebraska by the end of the week.
The nasal spray contains a live virus and health care providers in the area will decide whether to administer that vaccine arriving now or the inactive virus, which is an injectable vaccine, to each patient.
Lola Jones, CEO at CCCH, said the nasal mist vaccine will probably not be used by the hospital or its satellite clinics, as it is not appropriate, nor is it safe, for most patients because of the live virus.
Jones said she hopes that the injectable vaccine will be arriving soon, but can’t count on it since they’ve run out of regular flu shots and don’t know for sure when they’ll be arriving. Once it arrives, the H1N1 vaccine will be available at the Chase County Clinic and their satellite clinic in Wauneta.
Myra Stoney, director of the Southwest Nebraska Public Health Department in McCook, said the area should be just fine in regards to the vaccine. “There should be more than enough to go around,” Stoney said.
Stoney explained that health care providers will administer the vaccine — in its inactive virus form — to priority groups first: pregnant women, health care providers and emergency services personnel, caregivers for infants younger than 6 months, children from 6 months to 24 years of age, and those with underlying medical conditions.
The vaccine will be made available to anyone who wants it, and the decision to get vaccinated is up to each individual. The regular flu shot is ineffective against H1N1, and vice versa.http://www.waunetanebraska.com/index.ph ... &Itemid=34