County  of Santa Cruz



(831) 454-4000    FAX:  (831)  454-4488   TDD:  (831)  454-4123



Press Release


For Immediate Release:                       Contact: Dinah Phillips, Public Health Information Officer

                                                               Phone: 831-454-3408

April 28, 2009                                         Email:


Swine Flu Update for Santa Cruz County


Local Information:  As of today, Tuesday, April 28, 2009, NO cases of swine influenza A (H1N1) have been identified in Santa Cruz County.


Santa Cruz County Public Health has activated its Departmental Operations Center (DOC) to coordinate its response to this public health threat, which includes enhanced surveillance, increased laboratory testing, and consultation with health care providers on treatment and prophylaxis. Several County residents have been tested. Results take a minimum of two days. If cases are confirmed in Santa Cruz County, the DOC is prepared to take action to protect County residents.


Protective Steps

Our community’s response to this public health threat is a shared responsibility for all community members,” says Dr. Poki Namkung, Health Officer for Santa Cruz County. She further states that, “If we all take the proper precautions, we can severely limit the number of people who may become ill.”  To that end, county health officials recommend the following:


1.      Stay home when you are sick. This will prevent others from catching your illness. 

·        Only seek medical care if you have a fever above 100˚F or higher, have respiratory symptoms of coughing and sore throat, and have either been in contact with persons with confirmed swine flu OR who have traveled to Mexico or one of the five states which have reported cases. 

·        Call your health care provider and let them know of your possible exposure.

·        Wear a mask before you enter your provider’s office.

·        Avoid close contact with others as much as possible.

2.      Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

3.      Sneeze or cough into your elbow.

4.      Wash your hands frequently.

5.      Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.



Be Prepared

Now is a good time to make arrangements in case you are unable to go to work or your child’s school is closed. Consider options for working from home or alternative childcare, make sure you have plenty of food at home, and be ready to disinfect surfaces if someone in your home becomes ill.


Guidelines for Employers

Businesses and other employers will play a key role in protecting employees' health and safety. Encourage your employees to stay home and seek health care if they or their immediate household members are sick and have traveled to Mexico or any of the states with confirmed cases of swine flu. If an employee becomes sick with the flu, advise other employees to watch for flu symptoms. Be flexible by allowing employees to work from home and reschedule meetings.


Travel Information

The CDC has recommended that all non-essential travel to Mexico should be avoided. If you must travel to Mexico, check the CDC website at for information on how to protect yourself from influenza.


State and National Information: 10 California residents have been diagnosed with the virus. California’s cases are residents of San Diego County, Imperial County, and Sacramento County. A total of 64 cases have been reported in the U.S, in California, Kansas, New York, Ohio, and Texas. Thus far, there have been no deaths associated with this outbreak in the U.S. There are no known pig exposures in any of these cases.


The United States is one of several countries facing an epidemic of swine influenza virus. The World Health Organization (WHO) has raised the Pandemic Alert level to Phase 4, which is characterized by verified human-to-human transmission. In an effort to control the pandemic as easily and calmly as possible, Governor Schwarzenegger has declared a state of emergency for California.


Diagnosis: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recommending that clinicians consider a diagnosis of swine influenza in patients who 1) have a fever of 100˚F or higher, 2) respiratory symptoms of coughing and sore throat, and 3) who either have been in contact with persons with confirmed swine flu OR who have traveled to Mexico or one of the five states which have reported cases.


Swine Influenza

The current situation suggests that this strain of swine influenza is transmitted human-to-human.  Symptoms include fever >100° F (37.8° C) and a cough and/or a sore throat, lethargy, lack of appetite, and muscle pain.  Vomiting and diarrhea can also occur. Swine influenza is not transmitted by food.  You cannot get swine influenza from eating pork or pork products. This particular strain of swine influenza is susceptible to the antivirals, oseltamivir and zanamivir, but resistant to amantadine and rimantidine.



Additional Resources:  For more information on swine influenza, please visit our website at or  Residents may also call our information line at 831-454-4343.