WISCONSINREPORT.COM (05/09/2009) - A public health emergency remains in effect in Wisconsin in response to the presence of Influenza A (H1N1) in the state. Wisconsin now has 298 Confirmed Cases of H1N1 (Swine Flu), according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (WDH). The increase in confirmed cases from May 6th to May 8th reflects new testing capability in Wisconsin.
Beginning this week the State Laboratory of Hygiene, the Milwaukee Health Department Laboratory, and the Midwest Respiratory Virus Program in Milwaukee have been approved to report confirmed novel H1N1 influenza A. This eliminates the need to send specimens to Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for confirmation.
As a result of the new capability in Wisconsin, a large number of test results that were previously reported as probable have rapidly been reclassified as confirmed. This enhanced testing capability will improve the Wisconsin Department of Health's ability to track novel H1N1 (Swine) influenza A in Wisconsin.
Even though there are now more Confirmed Cases than originally reported a few days ago, there are also some additional cases that results aren't in on yet. These are being referred to by the Wisconsin Department of Health as "Probable Cases".
The latest figures, as of Friday afternoon showed 36 cases in Milwaukee County as being probable. Added to the 298 confirmed cases, that makes a total of 334 cases in the state.
Most of the combined confirmed and probable cases are in Milwaukee County for a combined total of 195 cases of the H1N1 flu being reported by the Wisconsin Department of Health. That's makes over 58 percent of Wisconsin's total cases being reported in Milwaukee County.
The rest of the cases are scattered throughout the state. Some as far away from Milwaukee as Polk County where one confirmed case has been reported, but, most of the cases outside of Milwaukee County, so far, seem to be in southeastern Wisconsin and the Madison area.
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services and its many partners continue the aggressive response to an expanding outbreak caused by H1N1 flu. Primary goals are to:
(1) reduce transmission and illness severity, and (2) provide information to help public health officials, health care providers, state and local officials, and the public understand and take steps to address this emergency.
The World Health Organization maintains its pandemic alert at Level 5, its second-highest level. Level 6 indicates a full scale pandemic. Level 5 means all countries should be activating their pandemic preparedness plans.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) maintains its advisory on travel to Mexico and recommends postponement of nonessential travel.
The CDC Friday reported 1639 laboratory-confirmed cases in the U.S. in 43 states.
Two H1N1-related deaths in the U.S. have been reported; both occurred in Texas.