April 29, 2009
AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry today bolstered the state’s precautionary measures to address the swine flu threat as a result of confirmed cases in certain parts of the state by issuing a disaster declaration for the entire state of Texas. The disaster declaration allows the state to implement emergency protective measures and seek reimbursement under the federal Stafford Act for protective measures associated with the state’s response to this public health threat.
“Texans need to know there is no cause for panic and Texans can be assured that the state will take every necessary precaution to protect the lives of our citizens,” Gov. Perry said. “My office, along with the Department of State Health Services and other state, local and federal partners, have a plan in place to protect Texans should there be a pandemic flu outbreak or other health emergency.”
The governor was joined by Department of State Health Services Commissioner Dr. David Lakey and Texas Education Commissioner Robert Scott at a press conference to discuss the state’s response to this threat. The state of Texas continues to closely coordinate with local and federal health officials and emergency management partners by monitoring and responding to this changing threat.
[efoods]Gov. Perry also announced that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has approved his increased request for 25 percent (850,000 courses) of the Texas allotment of antiviral medication from the CDCs Strategic National Stockpile to be prepositioned in the state. This request augments more than 840,000 courses of antiviral medication on hand in Texas following a purchase authorized by Gov. Perry and the 80th Legislature in 2007.
CDC’s Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) has large quantities of medicine and medical supplies to protect the American public if there is a public health emergency (terrorist attack, flu outbreak, earthquake). For more information on the SNS, visit http://www.bt.cdc.gov/stockpile.
To date, the CDC has confirmed 91 human swine flu cases in the U.S., including 16 confirmed cases and one death in Texas.
Symptoms of swine flu in people are similar to those of regular or seasonal flu and include fever, fatigue, lack of appetite and coughing. Some with swine flu also have reported runny nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
Health officials say everyone should follow standard precautions to reduce the spread of any respiratory illness.
• Stay home when you are sick to avoid spreading illness to others.
• Cough or sneeze into the crook of your elbow or a tissue and properly dispose of used tissues.
• Wash hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and warm water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Individuals with these flu-like symptoms should call the state’s swine flu call center at 888-777-5320. For health care providers with questions about assessing, evaluating and treating swine flu, call 877-623-6274. These lines are operational from 7:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.