Update October 2009: H1N1 flu vaccinations are starting to become available in the Phoenix area. Your best bet for updated information about clinics and flu shots is www.fluaz.org or call the Flu Hotline at Flu Hotline 602-324-2814 or 877-764-2670.
Reports of epidemic and pandemic alerts relating to swine influenza, or swine flu, originating in Mexico dominate the news (Spring 2009). Obviously, because of our proximity to Mexico, Arizona officials are on the watch for any cases reported in our state. You can see comments about swine flu in Phoenix, and add your own comment if you have one, here.
Let's begin with what you probably want to know first --
Does anyone in Arizona have it?
Yes. Influenza Type A (H1N1) -- often referred to as swine flu is in Arizona and affects Phoenix residents. Below you'll see a chronological listing of early events relating to H1N1 in 2009. Now that it is fairly common, I won't be following flu cases and deaths any longer on this page. Here is where you can find updated H1N1 swine flu information for AZ.
- May 27, 2009: 534 cases in 12 of our 15 counties. One more death in Tucson, a young girl, making the four people who died from complications of this flu.
- May 20: 452 AZ cases. One more death, a 13-year-old Tucson boy.
- May 19: 406 confirmed cases in AZ, with a total of two deaths. The second death was a woman from the Gila River Indian Community.
- May 15: 299 confirmed cases in AZ.
- May 1: A woman in Maricopa County is Arizona's first death attributed to swine flu. She reportedly already had lung disease. She was the 4th death in the U.S. There are now 261 confirmed cases in AZ, with of them in Maricopa County. Remember, some of these are people who have already fully recovered.
- May 13: 240 confirmed cases of Type A (H1N1) flu or swine flu in AZ.
- May 12: Cochise, Coconino, Gila, Graham, Greenlee, Mohave and Navajo counties still have no confirmed reported cases.
- May 11, 2009: 186 confirmed cases in AZ.
- May 8: 182 cases in Arizona, according to the CDC. A third death was reported in in Washington (no deaths in AZ).
- May 7: There are 130 confirmed cases in Arizona. Mexico is reporting 42 deaths related to Infuenza A(H1N1) so far.
- Of the 49 cases in AZ, 20 are in Maricopa County, 10 in Pima County, 11 in Yuma County, 5 in Pinal county, 2 in Santa Cruz County and 1 in La Paz County. Of the 49 cases, 14 are older than 18 years of age. Another person has died making the total deaths related to swine flu 2, both of which occurred in Texas.
- May 5, 2009: There are 49 confirmed cases of H1N1 flu in Arizona as of today. A backlog in testing is the only reason for the large increase from the 17 cases reported earlier.
- May 2: The total number of cases reported in AZ is now 17, of which 9 are in Maricopa County, 6 are in Pima County, 1 in Santa Cruz County and 1 in Yuma County, 15 were under 18 years old. The three schools that were closed will re-open early on Tuesday, May 5. County health officials have decided that they will no longer require school closures for this illness. In the U.S., there is still only 1 reported death.
- April 30: Three new cases of the H1N1 flu have been confirmed in Arizona. They are all children in Maricopa County. That brings the AZ total to 4. Tarwater Elementary and Hartford Sylvia Encinas Elementary School, both in the Chandler Unified School District, will be closed for 7 calendar days. There are 109 confirmed cases in the U.S. in 11 states. Median age is 16.
- April : Arizona records its first case of swine flu. It is one of 91 confirmed cases in 10 states. It was an 8-year-old boy who attends Moon Mountain Elementary School in northwest Phoenix. He is already better and was not hospitalized. The school will be closed until May 7 as a precaution. A new shipment of flu medications has arrived in the state and is being distributed to hospitals. These antivirals don't prevent the swine flu but they help lessen the symptoms and shorten the illness if taken at early onset.
- April 28: there are no confirmed cases identified in Arizona. Several suspected samples have been sent to CDC for testing.
What is swine flu?
Swine flu is a virus causing respiratory disease in pigs.
Can humans catch swine flu?
Normally, no. Pigs have a swine flu season just like humans have a flu season. It does happen, though, that humans who have exposure to pigs pick up the virus. According to the Center for Disease Control there is about one case of human swine flu every one to two years in the U.S. In the past 5 years 12 cases of human infection with swine flu have been reported.
What symptoms should I be looking for?
Swine flu will feel similar to regular human flu. Symptoms might include fever, lethargy, lack of appetite and coughing. You might also have a runny nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
Can people catch swine flu from eating pork?
Is there a vaccine for swine flu?
Vaccines are available to be given to pigs to prevent swine influenza. There is no vaccine to protect humans from swine flu, but there are some antiviral drugs that are licensed for use in the U.S.
Have there been any swine flu reports in the U.S. as a result of this outbreak in Mexico?
Yes, there are some confirmed cases in the U.S. as well as in other countries. Deaths are now being reported.
What can I do to prevent getting swine flu?
Wash your hands often, and avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth which is how most germs spread. Avoid being around people who are sick. If you get sick, stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them. See your health care provider if you believe you have flu symptoms.
What will happen at Arizona schools?
The Arizona Department of Education has stated that they will monitor the situation closely and act swiftly, including the possible closing of a school, where there is a confirmed case.
What if I have more questions?
A telephone hot line has been set up in Arizona. You may call 602-263-8856 or 800-352-3792 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to speak with bi lingual staff with general questions about Swine Flu and how it is affecting our local community.
Want to know more about swine flu?