Gov. Jack Markell’s delivered the following remarks Wednesday morning at a press conference detailing the state’s response to swine influenza. On Tuesday, four students at the University of Delaware tested probable for the flu strain.


    Gov. Jack Markell’s delivered the following remarks Wednesday morning at a press conference detailing the state’s response to swine influenza. On Tuesday, four students at the University of Delaware tested probable for the flu strain.
 
    “One of state government’s core responsibilities is to protect the health and safety of Delawareans. I want to thank our people in the Division of Public Health, the medical professionals at the University of Delaware and the professionals from Christiana Care for putting together a plan that is prudent and thoughtful.
 
    “We are being driven by the best professional advice available.
 
    “First and foremost we must be careful to keep this in perspective. The students who have tested probable so far have only experienced mild symptoms.
 
   “We have the resources in place.
 
   “This is what we have done in the past week:
 
    · Utilized our influenza surveillance system to monitor the situation in Delaware
    · Activated our State Health Operations Center (SHOC)
    · As part of SHOC, held regular conference calls of our key partners in responding to a possible outbreak in Delaware - including: key state agencies, local governments, law enforcement agencies, hospitals and other healthcare facilities, higher education
    · Disseminated health alerts and updates on Swine flu to the medical community and healthcare facilities through the Delaware Health Alert Network.
    · Developed and posted informational materials for the public on state Web site.
    “Since learning of the probable cases at the University, we have:
Consulted with public health professionals at the Division of Public Health. In addition we have consulted with the chief medical officer of Christiana Care, Jim Newman.
    · Performed preliminary tests to determine probability for swine flu; forwarded specimens to CDC lab for further testing
    · Deployed 31 nurses and more than 50 other public health staff to UD to assess the situation and determine a protocol for path forward
    · Deployed supplies to UD Health Center to continue to serve students
    · Established and staffed a secondary health clinic at UD which has the capacity to serve up to 5,000 individuals for screening, assessment and treatment if necessary
    · Established a call center and an 800-number for the public: (866) 408-1899
    · Communicated with School Districts, day care centers and major employers in the state to ensure heightened awareness, tracking and reporting of symptoms.
    · Reached out to our state’s largest employers through DEMA so we can be notified if their employees develop symptoms.
    · Provided effective, thoughtful updates to the public that are as descriptive as possible, and we will continue to do so. 

    “We as individuals can and should take steps to protect ourselves from swine flu. 
 
    “To prevent infection, follow CDC guidelines that recommend washing your hands regularly and covering your nose and mouth when you sneeze.
 
    “If you have flulike symptoms, get medical treatment. Don’t go to crowded events, don’t spend time in close quarters at places. Do not go to work, school or travel while ill.
 
    Delawareans should go to Delaware.gov for more information on how to protect themselves.”