Testing guidelines for swine flu revised


POSTED: Thursday, June 04, 2009

The state Department of Health has revised recommendations to doctors for swine flu testing.

In a medical advisory to physicians, the department said it is giving priority on H1N1 influenza testing to people at high risk for complications or who are severely ill requiring hospitalization; those exposed to a confirmed or probable case; and those with a travel history or who work in a high-risk occupation, such as health care .

“;The new focus is to identify potentially severe cases and local outbreaks in our community rather than individual cases,”; the department said.

Thus far, no severe illnesses have been reported in any cases.

The department also switched from daily reports of confirmed cases of the influenza to weekly reports on Wednesdays.

From the last report on Friday to yesterday, the department confirmed 33 new cases, for a total of 115 since the first three were confirmed May 5.

Of the total, two are on the Big Island. One on Maui became ill on the mainland and was briefly hospitalized before returning home.

All new cases are Oahu residents who have recovered or are recovering at home with no complications, the department said.

It is no longer reporting whether those infected with the virus are school-age children or adults.

The Health Department reiterated its advice to the public to protect against the novel influenza:

» Stay home from work or school if you have a fever of 100 degrees or more and a cough or sore throat.

» Remain home for seven days or 24 hours after the fever has ended without use of Tylenol or other medication to reduce the fever.

» Wash hands often or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizing gel; cover nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing.