Swine Influenza Update: April 30, 2009

I wish to inform you that we now have two probable cases of Swine Influenza in Orange County. This afternoon, I was joined in a press conference by Dr. Eric Handler, Orange County Public Health Officer, and Dave Riley, Interim Director of the Orange County Health Care Agency, to provide the latest details on the situation in Orange County.

To that end, I signed a Proclamation of Local Emergency today on behalf of the Orange County Board of Supervisors. Proclaiming a local emergency is a step that has also been taken by the other counties in our region. Please be aware that this is not cause for alarm. Rather, it is a prudent move that we must take.

By proclaiming a Local Emergency in Orange County, the Board of Supervisors provides the Health Care Agency and other departments that will be involved in our response greater flexibility in taking the actions needed to safeguard the public’s health. This includes some flexibility from the County’s normal purchasing and contracting guidelines as additional supplies and services are needed. It may also come in to play should the County need to request additional resources from the State. To view the Proclamation of Local Emergency I signed today, please click here.

The Health Care Agency has been coordinating its efforts with the Operational Area Emergency Operations Center at Loma Ridge, which is activated at Level One. In addition, the Health Care Agency has been providing the Board with updated information on a regular basis during the early stages of this evolving outbreak.

In the days ahead, the Board of Supervisors and County Executive Office will continue to provide support to HCA and other County departments involved in the response to this developing situation. HCA will also continue to coordinate efforts with the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). New information is being posted to the HCA website regularly at www.OCHealthInfo.com.

The County of Orange is committed to taking all appropriate measures within our means in response to this evolving situation. Again, please be assured that I will continue to update you on the latest developments in Orange County. For more information, including tips on how protect yourself from getting sick, please click here or call HCA’s Health Referral Line at 1-800-564-8448.