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ISDH Opening Call Center for Influenza Questions
The Indiana State Department of Health will launch a call center beginning Friday, August 3 from 1:00-4:00 to answer questions on influenza infection. Beginning next week, the call center will be open from 8:15-4:45 Monday through Friday. The general call number will be (877) 826-0011. For medical questions, health care providers may call the call center provider line at 855-219-0011.
Five confirmed cases of variant influenza A have been identified in Indiana since mid-July in LaPorte and Jackson counties. Laboratory testing is pending on additional cases in Jackson, Jennings, Tipton, Monroe, White, and Washington counties. To date, all cases have had contact with swine. The ISDH continues to monitor influenza activity statewide.
The ISDH has received several calls from healthcare providers seeing patients with influenza-like illness (ILI), and we anticipate the number of cases of H3N2v infection to increase in Indiana and possibly other states. Because this virus has been identified in more than one county with reports of human illness in other counties, influenza should be considered as a diagnosis in patients presenting with respiratory symptoms. Additional testing is being conducted to assess similarity between viruses infecting swine and humans.
Health care providers who see patients with ILI should collect a nasopharygeal swab for testing at the ISDH Laboratory. Currently available rapid influenza diagnostic tests for use in physician's offices may not adequately detect this virus. Contact the ISDH Surveillance and Investigation Division at 317-233-7125 to obtain authorization prior to sample submission. Authorization must be obtained prior to specimen submission. Specimens collected Friday through Sunday must be shipped on Monday. Public health officials will conduct a case investigation to determine the source of illness and potential transmission. Health care providers can remind their patients that influenza is not transmitted to people through eating properly handled and prepared pork or other products derived from pigs and to stress the importance of staying home while ill.
For more information, please refer to:
ISDH influenza web site: http://www.in.gov/isdh/25462.htm
ISDH variant influenza A quick fact: http://www.in.gov/isdh/files/2012QuickFact_Influenza.pdf
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) web site: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/swineflu