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April 27, 2009

Epidemiologists from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said Monday that suspected or confirmed swine flu cases should be treated with oseltamivir or zanamivir and that other antiviral drugs have not been effective.

In an interim guidance for physicians, CDC officials noted that the 40 confirmed cases in the United States (as of 3 pm EST Monday) all presented with uncomplicated flu-like symptoms and so far have not been severe, unlike cases in Mexico.

For reporting and tracking, the CDC also recommended that physicians send swab samples to their state health department for definitive testing.

The virus is believed to be transmitted by close person-to-person contact, much like the seasonal influenza outbreaks, CDC officials said. Because of the risks for possible contagion of patients in the ED, emergency physicians are asked to review the CDC’s guidance about infection control.

Because of the rapidly evolving nature of the outbreak, emergency physicians are asked to check the CDC site regularly for updates (www.cdc.gov/swineflu/) as more information develops.

Helpful Links:

  • CDC Swine Flu site
  • Physician Guidance on Swine Flu Antiviral Recommendations 
  • Interim Guidance for Infection Control for Care of Patients with Confirmed or Suspected Swine Flu
  • Interim Recommendations for Facemask and Respirator Use Where Swine Flu Has Been Detected 
  • Physician Guidance for Swine Flu Non-pharmaceutical Community Mitigation