- 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): www.cdc.gov/swineflu/index.htm
- Although currently there are no travel restrictions,
this could change. For the most up-to-date travel
information, log onto wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/contentSwineFluMexico.aspx.
If you have recently traveled to one of the affected areas,
you should pay close attention to your health for seven
- 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
What You Can Do to Stay
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
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread
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
Symptoms of swine flu are similar to regular human flu
- Sore throat
- Body aches
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
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
Personal and Family
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
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
The Illinois Emergency Management Agency
(IEMA) has developed a Severe Weather Preparedness
tips on staying safe during the severe weather months.
Severe Weather Preparedness Week Press Release.
New Website to Simplify Disaster Assistance
A new user-friendly website called Disasterassistance.gov
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
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
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
of the Ready Illinois website.
Emergency Preparedness Tips for Those with
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
for more information.