Story last updated at 6/10/2009 - 1:36 pm
HAINES - The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) has received confirmation from the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services virology lab that there has been a positive test for the novel H1N1 swine flu at the SEARHC Haines Health Center.
The patient is a healthy Haines resident with a recent travel history. The patient had a mild case of the flu and is already reported to be better. This is the first confirmed case in Southeast Alaska.
SEARHC is taking all necessary precautions to protect its patients and employees in case of a H1N1 outbreak. SEARHC staff is in regular contact with the State of Alaska Division of Epidemiology and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to keep updated on the current situation. They are continually monitoring and testing to see if any of their patients are developing the symptoms of the H1N1 flu.
Patients who have any flu symptoms such as cough, fever, body aches, runny nose, sore throat, vomiting or diarrhea are first asked to contact their local health clinic by phone, except in an emergency. Patients will be asked about their symptoms to see if they need to come into the clinic for flu testing or treatment. If you are sick, please stay home except to go to the clinic. Do not go to work or school, and avoid public activities for at least five days (seven days for children) to keep from spreading the flu to others. Any patient with flu symptoms should let staff know when he or she arrives at the clinic.
Here are some other ways you can help prevent the spread of airborne diseases such as the flu:
Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water aren't available.
Use a tissue to cover your mouth when you are coughing or sneezing, and promptly throw the tissue into a waste basket when you are done.
Cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow instead of into your hands if you don't have a tissue.
Wash your hands or use a hand sanitizer after coughing or sneezing.
Use sanitary wipes to clean surfaces where germs gather, such as computer keyboards, telephones, light switches and stairway banisters.