Photo courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Connecticut Departments of Public Health (DPH) and Emergency Management and Homeland Security (DEMHS) are working together to provide a weekly CT Situation Report on what the State of Connecticut is doing in preparation and response to a H1N1 influenza pandemic.
H1N1 Situation Report: October 23, 2009 to October 29, 2009
This report provides a brief overview of the H1N1 situation in Connecticut, as well as on the national and international levels.
NOTE: According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) the start of the 2009-2010 influenza season began Sunday Aug. 30, 2009. All statistics provided will be based on this calendar.
Department of Public Health (DPH)
Connecticut has received 178,800 doses of H1N1 flu vaccine to date [Oct. 29].
There have been 3 confirmed deaths in Connecticut due to H1N1 in individuals with underlying medical conditions, since Aug. 30, 2009.
Preliminary influenza data from the week ending Oct. 24 reveals that a rapidly increasing level of influenza activity is being observed in Connecticut, as measured by laboratory-confirmed test results and reports of increased school absenteeism by students with influenza-like illness.
A total of 98 laboratory-confirmed test reports of the 2009 influenza A (H1N1) virus have been received as of Oct. 27, 2009. Of these cases: 48 percent are male, 50 percent are female and 2 percent were not documented as to gender. The cases include ages from less than one year old to 73 years old, with a median age of 24.
Local Health departments and districts continue to set up clinics in anticipation of delivery of vaccine.
School superintendents and principals are keeping local health districts apprised of absenteeism rates.
The CT DPH is working with local health departments to develop a vaccination strategy for school nurses.
CT State Department of Education
The CT State Department of Education (SDE) issued guidance to all School Nurses regarding the distribution of surgical masks to school systems.
State Department of Education is reporting the following confirmed school closures/updates:
- Regional School District 10 (Harwinton/Burlington) will reopen on Monday, Nov. 2, 2009.
- Keigwin Middle School, Middletown will reopen on Monday, Nov. 2, 2009
- St. John’s School Middletown , will reopen on Monday, Nov. 2, 2009
- East Haven Academy will reopen on Monday, Nov. 2, 2009
- Guilford H.S. – closed Oct 26 & 27, reopened 10/28.
Other schools with high absenteeism rates: Branford – Walsh Intermediate School; Portland – Brownstone Intermediate School; and Glastonbury – Smith Middle School.
Other school systems monitoring high absenteeism: Avon, Berlin, Bolton, Madison, East Hartford, Bolton.
University of Connecticut
Since Aug. 30, UConn has reported 200 cases of influenza-like illness (ILI), 51 cases just last week.
Note: to view The Connecticut Association of Schools – Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference H1N1 Contingency Plan go to www.casciac.org
Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (DEMHS)
Current DEMHS activation level – MONITORING [information review and sharing, and outreach mode]. H1N1 incident information has been posted for state and local public safety officials on Web EOC.
The 5 DEMHS Regional Coordinators – along with their Regional Planning Teams – are monitoring H1N1 activities across the state.
Other State agencies
A Legislative Forum on H1N1 will take place on Wed., Nov. 18, 2009 from 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. in room 2D at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford.
Press Release 10/26/09: Governor Rell Calls for Overhaul of Flu Vaccine Production and Distribution System
HHS and Sesame Workshop Release 13 New Flu Prevention Radio public service announcements (PSAs) featuring governors and Elmo – Governor Rell participated.
Call Center Volume
Total number of calls into the DPH Hotline since inception (Oct 5): 2,986
For the week 10/18/2009 – 10/24/2009, 2-1-1 (Infoline) answered 37 calls related to the H1N1 virus – four calls were about the symptoms of the virus; five calls were for general information about the virus; 28 calls were questions about the H1N1 vaccine. Most of the vaccine-related calls to 2-1-1 were about the vaccine’s availability – where to get vaccinated, had the state run out of vaccine, etc.
The H1N1 recorded messages were selected 439 times – 234 of which were for the vaccine message.
Current public messages
Initial supplies of the H1N1 vaccine from the federal government are small.
Gov. Rell has expressed concerns about H1N1 and seasonal vaccine supplies to DHHS.
CT DPH is getting available vaccine to those at greatest risk.
New England States Situation/FEMA Region A Update Summary
The 24/7 Regional Response Coordination Center at FEMA Region 1 is currently at a Watch/Steady State Activation Level.
FEMA Region 1 reports daily to DEMHS and will update DEMHS with H1N1 situational awareness as it becomes available.
All the New England States have reported to FEMA that their current activation level is MONITORING.
Rhode Island – State health officials are tracking the spread of H1N1 flu through electronic prescription records, using information supplied by pharmacies to document how much Tamiflu and other antivirals are being dispensed to patients.
Vermont – The first death in Vermont linked to 2009 H1N1 influenza was also reported this week – an adult with serious medical conditions.
The Vermont Department of Health is reporting a significant increase in influenza illness around the state over the past week.
Cases of 2009 H1N1 have been confirmed by the Health Department Laboratory in all areas of the state, and hospitals are reporting a sharp increase in the number of visits related to respiratory or viral illness.
National Situation Update Summary
President Obama declared the H1N1 situation a national emergency on Saturday, Oct. 24, 2009.
The President’s declaration allows a healthcare facility to request a temporary waiver of certain standard federal requirements that may impede the ability to cope in case the number of H1N1 patients suddenly increases dramatically.
Waivers must be requested by the individual healthcare facility and are reviewed by state and federal oversight agencies.
No waivers have been requested in Connecticut.
CDC Director Thomas Frieden said there are 22.4 million doses of H1N1 vaccine available to the public, up from 14 million doses a week ago, but the process is still moving too slowly.
Each week the CDC publishes a report called the Flu View that can be found on the CDC website www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/
International H1N1 Update Summary
As of Oct. 17, 2009, worldwide there have been more than 414,000 laboratory-confirmed cases of pandemic influenza H1N1 2009, and nearly 5000 deaths reported to WHO (World Health Organization).
Mongolia, Rwanda, and Sao Tome and Principe have reported pandemic influenza cases for the first time this week.
Iceland, Sudan, and Trinidad and Tobago reported their first fatal cases. (Source: WHO)
- Submitted by Commissioner of CT Dept. of Emergency Management & Homeland Security Peter J. Boynton and Commissioner of CT Department of Public Health Dr. J. Robert Galvin
Received and posted Oct. 30, 2009