ADE Director's Communication Memo Form

Memo Number : COM-09-169

Date Created : 04/28/2009


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Type of Memo: Informational
Response Required: Yes
Section:   Communications - Julie Thompson, Director
Swine Flu Information

Regulatory Authority:

Contact Person:
Julie Johnson Thompson

Phone Number:


The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) has issued a press release urging the public to watch for swine flu. In it, Dr. William Mason, branch chief, preparedness and response, states, “The Arkansas Department of Health is on alert. We have activated our Emergency Operations Center and are working with state and federal officials to monitor the situation. We want Arkansans to know that at this time, we don’t have confirmed swine flu in our state. However, we are concerned about what is happening in our neighboring state of Texas and elsewhere across the country. The illness that we are seeing in the United States currently is not severe. All ill persons have recovered. There is the possibility that we will see severe illness in the future, and we want Arkansans to be prepared.”

In addition, the regularly scheduled flu surveillance of schools in the state has ended but, because of the occurrance of swine flu in other states, community health nurses will resume the calls for the flu surveillance. School personnel are asked to cooperate with them and be able to tell them how many students they have recorded or sent home with flu-like symptoms and temperature of 100 degrees or more.

Other steps schools are asked to take:
*Consult with the Arkansas Department of Health before considering closing school for illness;
*Send students or staff members who have flu-like symptoms and fever of 100 degrees or more home; do not allow them to remain at school.
*As always, people with respiratory illness should stay home from work or school to avoid spreading infections, including influenza, to others in the community;
*Review the district’s Pandemic Flu Plan;
*Encourage all students, staff and faculty to WASH HANDS FREQUENTLY;
*Avoid close contact with people who are coughing, sneezing or otherwise appear ill; and
*Avoid touching the eyes, nose and mouth.

Please find attached age-specific fliers to remind students to wash their hands. Please post these in school buildings.

The Hotline telephone number is 1-800-651-3493

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