Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Michigan Swine Flu Information Center

UPDATE: The Livingston County case has been positively identified as the swine flu. The woman is at home and is doing fine, but yes, the flu is here in Michigan.

BFM is getting a boatload of hits from people searching for information on the swine flu in Michigan, so in the interest of serving that searching public, I'm going to turn you all over to the state and let them deal with it. ;-)

Michigan has set up a Swine Flu Information Center at From there you can get the latest updates on the swine influenza A/(H1N1) flu, as well as links to the CDC, the WHO, and other health organizations that have all information that you may need.

A 2nd "probable" case has been identified in Michigan; a 34-year-old Ottawa County woman who was released from the hospital last Friday. Testing for this new strain works like this:

The state will send the lab results to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to see if she tests positive for the virus.

Michigan is still awaiting word from the CDC on a probable case out of Livingston County, which is located 45 miles northwest of Detroit. A 34-year-old woman is recovering at home after returning by car from a vacation in Texas.

Also Tuesday, the state partially activated its Emergency Operations Center in Lansing to coordinate the response of state agencies and local governments to the flu outbreak. The center was partially opened during a 2007 tornado storm and during Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

People with flu-like symptoms who show up at Michigan doctor's offices, clinics and emergency rooms are being tested for influenza A. If the test is positive and the patient has traveled in an area where swine flu is known to have been, then the swab is sent to the state for testing.

If the state lab determines the sample is an untypeable strain of influenza A, it rules it a "probable" case of swine flu and asks the CDC for confirmation.

As you can imagine, both the state and the CDC are probably being bombarded with tests at this point, so it's hard to tell when these cases will be confirmed or dismissed. (see update above)

In the meantime - don't panic, and just follow the common sense rules: Avoid close contact with people who are sick, stay home if you are sick (I know, that can be hard to do in tough economic times with demanding employers, but try), cover your mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing, wash those hands! frequently, and practice other good health habits like proper sleep and exercise to help keep your immune system in tip-top shape.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled blogging.