July 17, 2009

News Release

For Immediate Release

First H1N1 Cases Official in Greene County

The Springfield-Greene County Health Department received confirmation Friday morning of two laboratory confirmed cases of 2009 novel H1N1 influenza in Greene County residents. The residents are between the ages of 19 and 64. These are the first laboratory confirmed H1N1 cases reported to the Springfield-Greene County Health Department since the virus was first detected in the U.S. in April 2009.

“We are not surprised to see the first confirmed cases in Greene County,” says director of health Kevin Gipson. “We know the illness is present in every state. It is very likely there have been other cases here that were just not tested, due to the state laboratory only testing samples from its sentinel sites. Our staff is responding to the reports as they do with any communicable disease report with investigation, testing and treatment, as necessary.”

The best protection against H1N1 continues to be proven disease prevention methods such as good hand washing and keeping a distance of six feet from people who are ill. The health department also encourages people who are sick to stay home, cover their cough or sneeze with their elbow or tissue, and wash their hands frequently.

The symptoms of H1N1 are similar to other flu-like illnesses and include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, tiredness, headache, runny nose or stuffy nose.

“Viruses are a part of everyday life, whether it is a cold, the seasonal flu, or H1N1,” adds Gipson. “The best thing people can do is follow these prevention methods to protect themselves and reduce the spread of a number of different communicable diseases in our community.”

Information on H1N1 can be found on the health department’s Web site at www.springfieldmo.gov/health/ or by calling the public health information line at 417-864-1166.

Media Contact:
Jaci McReynolds, Public Information Administrator (417) 830-9511 cell • (417) 874-1205 office

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Harold K. Bengsch Building

227 E. Chestnut Expwy. • Springfield, MO 65802
417-864-1658 • health.springfieldmo.gov