A message from Dr. Jonathan E. Fielding, MD, MPH, Director of the Department of Public Health (En Espanol)

SWINE FLU INFORMATIONA new variation of the influenza virus known as swine flu has been detected in parts of California and several other states. We have not found any confirmed cases of this new strain in Los Angeles County, but we do expect that this type of flu will spread.

In the U.S., the good news so far is that those with this virus have had only mild or moderate symptoms. However, in Mexico preliminary data suggests this may cause a more severe pattern of infection.

We do not suggest any changes in what you would normally do to avoid either getting sick yourself or passing illness to others: if you are sick, stay home; if your child is sick, do not send him or her to school; cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze; wash your hands frequently, especially before eating and after using the restroom; and do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with your hands.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is on alert, and we have activated surveillance to identify cases of this strain that may surface in LA County. We are also working with the California Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on control measures.

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