Mesa County Health Department officials have announced the first hospitalized case of Novel H1N1 in Mesa County.
Officials say the patient is a 5-year-old. They also say the child was admitted to a Grand Junction hospital and has since been transported to a Denver-area hospital for treatment.
"This second confirmed case of H1N1 in Mesa County is a reminder that H1N1 has continued to circulate in Colorado and it is present in our community," says Dr. Michael Aduddell, director of the Mesa County Health Department. "In addition, we anticipate additional cases when schools reconvene."
Health Department officials say they're finalizing a plan they hope to release soon that's designed to control and prevent the spread of the flu in the Grand Valley. They say that plan will be released by the end of this week and will include the following: vaccination, communication between agencies (including schools, health care providers, emergency management and others), surveillance and investigation measures, mitigation of the disease and more.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have four ways to help prevent spreading the disease. Parents are encouraged to talk to their children about healthy habits as school starts next week.
-Practice good hand hygiene by washing hands often with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.
-Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If you don't have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow or shoulder; not into your hands.
-Stay home if you or your child is sick for at least 24 hours after there is no longer a fever or signs of a fever (without the use of fever-reducing medicine). Keeping sick students at home means that they keep their viruses to themselves rather than sharing them with others.
-Get your family vaccinated for seasonal flu and 2009 H1N1 when vaccines are available.
11 News will have more on what this latest confirmed case means to the community tonight on 11 News at 5:30 p.m.