Story last updated at 8/12/2009 - 1:16 pm
JUNEAU - As of July 29, there have been 306 confirmed cases and one death caused by swine flu complications in Alaska. Of the confirmed cases, 21 came from Southeast. There were 43,771 confirmed or probable cases in the United States and five territories, and 302 deaths as of July 24.
"Confirmed cases do not really reflect what's going on in our community," said Jan Beauchamp, infection control officer for Bartlett Regional Hospital. "It's here in Juneau ... There's lots of it circulating in the community."
A recent hospital press release noted an increase in emergency room visits and calls about flu-like symptoms.
"It was a significant increase over a period of a week," Beauchamp said, noticeable not only at Bartlett but other clinics in town.
The best way to gauge the flu's impact will be through school absences once schools reopen and the chances of its spread increase dramatically, Beauchamp said.
If residents feel their case is significant enough to warrant medical attention, they should consult a doctor and call before visiting hospitals and clinics. Calling ahead lets the staff keep themselves and other patients safe.