Information on the H1N1 Virus, the Emerging Flu Situation

Jun 18, 2009
Fort Report

Today,  I received a briefing from the Department of Homeland Security Director and Health and Human Services Secretary, as well as Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials, regarding the U.S. outbreak of the H1N1 virus, otherwise being referred to as “swine flu.” 

This viral outbreak is receiving significant attention in the news, and I wanted to take the opportunity to clarify three important pieces of information.

First, the direct source of information about this emerging health threat is the CDC' website, www.cdc.gov.  This website is updated each morning with accurate scientific information.

Second, this virus is now being called the H1N1 virus, due to the misleading nature of the term “swine flu.”  This is particularly important as pork production, an important part of Nebraska agriculture, is already distressed due to harsh economic conditions.  Americans should be assured that consumption of pork does not transmit the virus, a fact supported by the World Health Organization.  There is no connection between eating pork and catching the virus.

Lastly, please know the outbreak has spread within 10 states, including Kansas and Iowa.   Ninety-one cases have been confirmed nationwide, and the government is working very aggressively with state and local authorities.

Again, please visit the CDC' website for accurate and up-to-date information concerning this emerging public health situation.