Swine Influenza Information
The Lee County Health Department and Florida Department of Health
are actively monitoring the current H1N1 Swine Flu outbreak.
Please continue to check back, as we will update our website as new
While flu activity remains relatively low nationally, the Southeast (including Florida) experienced increases in activity in the week of March 14-20, 2010. Most flu continues to be 2009 H1N1. Flu activity, caused by either 2009 H1N1 or seasonal flu viruses, may rise and fall but is expected to continue for weeks.
About H1N1 – How It Spreads, Symptoms, & Treatment
H1N1 flu is a contagious virus that mainly affects the respiratory
system (the breathing system). It spreads from person to person just
as other viruses do: through the air when a person who has the virus
sneezes, coughs or speaks – or through close personal contact with a
person who has the virus.
People can also become infected by touching a surface or object that
someone with the virus touched, sneezed or coughed on.
People can start spreading the virus a day or so before they even
know they’re sick. They will remain that way for up to seven days
after they get sick. Very young children and people who have weak
immune systems because of chronic illness such as heart disease,
lung problems, or cancer might be able to spread the virus longer.
You can't get H1N1 flu from eating pork or pork products. Eating
cooked pork is safe as long as you cook it properly – as you already
H1N1 Symptoms resemble common flu symptoms. They include fever plus
one or more of the following: cough, sore throat, body aches, runny
nose, headache, chills and fatigue. Many people who have been
infected with this virus have also reported diarrhea and vomiting.
H1N1 flu can last from seven to fourteen days. Many individuals only
report mild flu-like symptoms as above, but severe illnesses and
death have occurred.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the CDC) has
advised people with chronic pre-existing conditions and pregnant
women to be especially careful to prevent infection.
There are several things we can all do to prevent the spread of
- Stay home when sick – don’t infect others
- Cough and sneeze into your sleeve or a tissue, discard the tissue
where no one else will touch it, and then wash your hands
- Wash your hands often and well. Keep the suds on your hands for at
least 15 to 20 seconds (about as long as it takes to sing the Happy
Birthday song twice), and use a towel to turn off the faucet of
sinks and wash basins that are used by others.
- Get an H1N1 vaccination (for children under 10, two doses – at least 4 weeks apart – are necessary for the same protection older children and adults get from one dose of the vaccine).
The CDC specifically recommends the H1N1 flu vaccine for:
- Pregnant women: Because they’re at higher risk of complications.
Also, there’s a possibility they can provide protection to infants
who cannot be vaccinated.
- People who live with, or care for, children younger than six
months old: Because younger infants are at higher risk of
complications and cannot be vaccinated. Vaccinating those in close
contact with these infants may protect infants by “cocooning” them
from the virus.
- Children and young people between six months and twenty-four years
old: Because officials have noted a large number of cases of H1N1
influenza in this group. They are in close contact with each other
in school and day care settings, which increases the chances that
the disease might spread.
- People who have chronic health conditions or
compromised immune systems: Because this group is more likely to
suffer from serious or deadly complications from the virus.
- Health care and emergency services personnel: Because healthcare
workers are at higher risk of being infected from their patients and
they have reported infections with H1N1. They can be a potential
source of infection for vulnerable patients. Also, increased
absenteeism in this population could reduce healthcare system
Information on the vaccines - CDC H1N1 Vaccination
Where to get vaccinated in Lee County
H1N1 vaccinations are available free of charge at the Lee County Health Department, 83 Pondella Road in North Fort Myers, from 8 AM – Noon and 1 PM – 4 PM, Monday through Friday.
H1N1 vaccinations are also available in many doctor’s offices and in Walgreens, Publix, and Winn-Dixie pharmacies, usually for a small fee, to persons 18 and older on a walk-in basis and by appointment.