Swine Flu Arizona -- Nothing Yet Reported in State or Sonora, Mexico

The swine flu situation in Arizona hasn't changed much since yesterday's post, except for a stockpiling of antiviral medications.

Officials are telling Tucson media that Arizona still hasn't reported any cases, and neither has the Mexican state that borders us, Sonora. Nobody's been detained at the international border. Governor Jan Brewer issued a tepid news release at 8 p.m. (see below). The toll of dead and sickened didn't seem to go up much. It's a fairly tame pandemic -- so far. People are still taking precautions.

Here's a roundup of some of the local media angles:

Napolitano deals with crisis

State cancels trade trip to Guadalajara

Russia bans U.S. pork imports from Arizona

Some border travelers in Nogales are wearing face masks

Governor Brewer's news release:

Governor Brewer Convenes State Swine Flu Team
Reviews Response Plans with Key Cabinet Officials

Phoenix - Governor Jan Brewer met late today with senior staff and cabinet officials to evaluate the State of Arizona's enhanced monitoring of potential cases of Swine Flu, as well as to review preparedness plans in the event that cases are confirmed in Arizona.

"I convened a meeting this afternoon of my top cabinet officials involved with monitoring and coordinating our preparedness and response plans for any potential outbreak of Swine Flu in Arizona," stated Brewer. "To date, no cases of Swine Flu have been identified in Arizona. However, the State Lab and local clinicians have enhanced their surveillance to identify any Arizona cases quickly and have reviewed plans for appropriate response if cases are identified in the future."

Governor Brewer has received frequent situational briefings beginning last Friday and over the weekend regarding ongoing communications between state and federal public health experts and homeland security officials. In specific, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Homeland Security departments have provided continuous informational updates to the State of Arizona regarding federal travel advisories, international health expert updates, as well as efforts to disseminate 25% of the federal stockpile of antiviral drugs. Arizona has applied for and will receive additional stockpiles of antiviral medications from the federal government, adding to the State's previously acquired stockpile. Per federal requirements, the stockpiles are restricted for treatment purposes of identified illnesses only.

This afternoon's meeting included top officials from:

o Arizona Department of Health Services
o Arizona Department of Homeland Security
o Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs
o Arizona Department of Public Safety
o Arizona Department of Agriculture
o Arizona Department of Education
o Arizona Department of Transportation
o Arizona-Mexico Commission

The Arizona Department of Health Services has been in communication with healthcare providers, counties, tribes, medical associations, hospitals, and emergency departments with disease summary, infection control, treatment and testing recommendations.

According to the CDC, Swine Flu symptoms are similar to those of the common human influenza (flu) virus - fever, cough, sore throat, headache, etc.

"Arizona's public health officials are prepared to respond should Swine Flu cases be discovered in Arizona, and will remain vigilant in monitoring for this illness. It is very important that citizens take basic, common sense precautions to avoid close contact with people who are ill," said Governor Brewer. "Washing your hands often with soap and water or utilizing hand sanitizers is helpful in preventing the spread of these types of illnesses. If you experience flu symptoms, please stay in bed, get rest, and drink plenty of fluids. If you are concerned about your symptoms, see your doctor."

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.