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Swine Influenza Outbreak


Current Information

  • There are no known cases in Illinois at this time.
  • For the latest information on human cases of swine influenza A (H1N1) in the United States, click on the following link from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
  • Although currently there are no travel restrictions, this could change. For the most up-to-date travel information, log onto If you have recently traveled to one of the affected areas, you should pay close attention to your health for seven days.
  • The World Health Organization has raised the Pandemic Alert to Phase 4. This means that verified human-to-human transmission of an animal or human-animal influenza virus able to cause "community-level outbreaks." The ability to cause sustained disease outbreaks in a community marks a significant upwards shift in the risk for a pandemic. Phase 4 indicates a significant increase in risk of a pandemic, but does not necessarily mean that a pandemic is a forgone conclusion (

What You Can Do to Stay Healthy

    The public should continue to monitor the news and heed the advice provided by federal, state and local health officials and their health care provider. There are everyday actions people can take to stay healthy.

    • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.

    Try to avoid close contact with sick people.

    • Influenza is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected people.
    • If you get sick, you should stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.

    Symptoms of swine flu are similar to regular human flu and include:

    • Fever
    • Cough
    • Sore throat
    • Body aches
    • Headache
    • Chills
    • Fatigue

    Some people also have reported diarrhea and vomiting associated with swine flu.

    For people who have flu-like symptoms and have traveled to areas where swine flu has been confirmed, they should seek medical attention. However, if a person has flu-like symptoms but has not traveled to areas where swine flu has been confirmed, they should stay home and contact a doctor to see if they should go in for testing.

Antiviral Drugs and Swine Influenza

    Antiviral drugs are prescription medicines (pills, liquid or an inhaler) with activity against influenza viruses, including swine influenza viruses. Antiviral drugs can be used to treat swine flu or to prevent infection with swine flu viruses. These medications must be prescribed by a health care professional. Influenza antiviral drugs only work against influenza viruses -- they will not help treat or prevent symptoms caused by infection from other viruses that can cause symptoms similar to the flu.

    Treatment: If you get sick, antiviral drugs can make your illness milder and make you feel better faster. They may also prevent serious influenza complications. For treatment, antiviral drugs work best if started as soon after getting sick as possible, and might not work if started more than 48 hours after illness starts.

    Prevention: Influenza antiviral drugs also can be used to prevent influenza when they are given to a person who is not ill, but who has been or may be near a person with swine influenza. When used to prevent the flu, antiviral drugs are about 70% to 90% effective. When used for prevention, the number of days that they should be used will vary depending on a person?s particular situation.

State, National and International Links

Personal and Family Preparedness

    There are basic steps you can take to ensure you are prepared at home, in your vehicle, and at work. By building an emergency kit, you and your family will have the basic survival items that are necessary during an emergency.

    • Download the Disaster Kit brochure for an easy-to-use checklist of items suggested for your kit(s).
    • Gather the supplies that are listed. You may need them if your family is confined at home or evacuated.
    • Keep the items you would most likely need during an evacuation in an easy-to-carry container (Go Bag), such as a camping backpack or a duffle bag.

For Additional Personal and Family Preparedness Information


Statewide Communications Interoperability Plan (SCIP)


Illinois' first-ever Statewide Communications Interoperability Plan (SCIP) was approved by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and has been officially accepted by the Illinois Emergency Management Agency, Illinois State Police, Illinois Terrorism Task Force, Illinois Department of Public Health, Illinois Emergency Services Management Association, Illinois Law Enforcement Alarm System, Mutual Aid Box Alarm System, and Chicago/Cook County Urban Area.

The plan identifies a statewide strategy that focuses on establishing a single platform so all public safety agencies can share emergency information. The development of the SCIP was a cooperative effort by a consortium of federal, state, and local public safety practitioners working through the Illinois Terrorism Task Force?s Communications Committee and the Statewide Interoperability Executive Committee. Annual reviews/updates to the SCIP will be conducted under the auspices of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency.


Severe Weather Preparedness


Tornadoes can strike at anytime, day or night, but can be especially deadly in the middle of the night when many people are asleep.  The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and the National Weather Service (NWS) are reminding people that weather radios save lives by providing round-the-clock alerts of imminent dangers.

The Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) has developed a Severe Weather Preparedness document with tips on staying safe during the severe weather months.

Severe Weather Preparedness Week Press Release.


New Website to Simplify Disaster Assistance Process


A new user-friendly website called will help ease the frustation felt by disaster victims required to search through multiple federal programs to find aid. The FEMA website, unveiled on Dec. 31, will centralize the application process for federal disaster assistance and offer a clearinghouse for information on programs administered at the federal, state and local levels.

To develop the website, DHS/FEMA partnered with 16 federal agencies that collectively sponsor more than 50 forms of disaster assistance. For the initial launch phase, the site will include only limited forms of federal assistance. Over the coming months, the website will add federal assistance programs administered at the state level, then local and tribal, and finally those of public non-profit organizations.


Suspicious Mail/Packages and Bomb Awareness Training


The Illinois Terrorism Task Force has developed a training program for governmental and private sector employees on basic safety procedures to follow when faced with a suspicious piece of mail or a bomb. The program includes a threat checklist brochure, a sample action plan for dealing with suspicious packages, and a downloadable 30-minute media presentation with audio narrative. For more information, please visit the Terrorism page of the Ready Illinois website.


Emergency Preparedness Tips for Those with Functional Needs

Being prepared for disasters and emergencies is important for everyone, but it can be even more critical for special needs individuals, who may rely on the assistance of others during an emergency. A new publication developed by a team of emergency management and health professionals addresses the unique preparedness considerations of individuals with functional needs and their caregivers. "Emergency Preparedness Tips for Those with Functional Needs" offers preparedness tips for people with visual, cognitive, or mobility impairments; citizens who are deaf or hard of hearing; those who utilize service animals or life support systems; and seniors. Please click here for more information.


Related Websites


IEMA - Illinois Emergency Management Agency Illinois Volunteers Illinois Terrorism Task Force Citizen Corps Illinois State Police Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal Illinois State Agencies American Red Cross Alert Chicago - Prepare, Plan, Stay Informed CERT - Community Emergency Response Team FEMA - Federal Emergency Management Agency U.S. Department of Homeland Security