Press Release

For Immediate Release
Apr 28, 2009
Contact : Michael Valentino  
732-751-7538
mvalentino@meridianhealth.com

Important Information From K. Hovnanian Children's Hospital Regarding H1N1 (Swine Flu)

 

Neptune, NJ -

Notice for Hospital Visitors:

Given that New Jersey has identified suspected swine flu cases, Meridian Health is taking the necessary precautions to ensure the safety of our patients, guests, and team members.

As we ask during regular flu season, if you are sick, have respiratory illness or are experiencing any flu-like symptoms, we ask you to refrain from visiting patients in our facilities to avoid the spread of your illness.

As recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), if you are sick, you should stay home and avoid contact with others as much as possible.

We are carefully monitoring the situation and have heightened influenza surveillance at our hospitals. Thank you for your cooperation.

When to Come to Seek Treatment:

At this point, the swine flu cases in the United States have been very similar to those of seasonal flu. If you experience flu-like symptoms, including fever, body aches, runny nose, sore throat, nausea, or vomiting or diarrhea, you should contact your primary care physician. Your physician will determine whether influenza testing or additional treatment is needed.

As with any virus, the best precautions are proper hand washing, covering coughs and sneezes, staying home if you are sick, and avoiding contact with other people as much as possible to keep from spreading your illness to others.

If your child becomes ill, you should seek emergency care if they experience any of these additional warning signs:

  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing
  • Bluish skin color
  • Not drinking enough fluids
  • Not waking up or not interacting
  • Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
  • Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
  • Fever with a rash

In adults, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Severe or persistent vomiting

What You Can Do to Protect Yourself and Your Family:

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 hands 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, CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.

Source: Centers for Disease Control

Meridian's Response:

Meridian Health is monitoring this situation very closely and following updated instructions from the Centers for Disease Control and New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services.

Our Emergency Department staffs are trained on the symptoms and treatment recommendations for the swine flu, and are actively monitoring patients arriving at our hospitals. Additionally, our hospitals are properly equipped to handle any possible inpatient cases if necessary.

As we ask during the regular flu season, if you are experiencing any respiratory illness, please refrain from visiting any patient in the hospital until you recover and feel well. We also advise our community to become familiar with the latest information from the Centers for Disease Control (www.cdc.gov/swineflu).

At this point, the swine flu cases in the United States have been very similar to those of seasonal flu. If you experience flu-like symptoms, including fever, body aches, runny nose, sore throat, nausea, or vomiting or diarrhea, you should contact your primary care physician. Your physician will determine whether influenza testing or additional treatment is needed. As with any virus, the best precautions are proper hand washing, covering coughs and sneezes, staying home if you are sick, and avoiding contact with other people as much as possible to keep from spreading your illness to others.

If your child becomes ill, you should seek emergency care if they experience any of these additional warning signs:

  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing
  • Bluish skin color
  • Not drinking enough fluids
  • Not waking up or not interacting
  • Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
  • Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
  • Fever with a rash

In adults, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Severe or persistent vomiting

Local residents who have traveled to Mexico in the past few months should also note that the swine flu has an incubation period of 48 hours. If you have returned from Mexico for over 48 hours and are exhibiting no symptoms, then you should have no cause for alarm regarding your trip. If you have any additional concerns, you should contact your primary care physician.

Meridian has worked with the New Jersey Hospital Association and other local, state, and federal agencies in flu preparation as part of our ongoing emergency preparedness activities. We will continue working closely with the state Department of Health and Senior Services and other public health agencies to remain current with this very fluid situation

General Info on Swine Flu

Key Facts

Info on Swine Flu in New Jersey