Subject: Swine Flu Second Update
From: Office of the Executive Vice President
Date: Wed, 29 Apr 2009 15:02:33 -0600
Subject Line: Swine Influenza Second Update
April 29, 2009

TO:  The NMSU Campus Community

FROM:  Robert Moulton, Interim Executive Vice President and Provost

SUBJECT:  Swine Influenza Second Update

As indicated earlier this week, the university is continuing to monitor the Swine Influenza outbreaks in the U.S., Mexico and elsewhere and will keep the NMSU community informed if any actions are needed. To our knowledge the situation locally has not changed. There is currently no health emergency in New Mexico.

Again, the NMSU Communicable Disease Preparedness Committee has been meeting on a regular basis for several years and the response plan can be found at

As this situation continues to evolve, we want to make information available to our campuses. At the request of the New Mexico Higher Education Department the following update is being distributed for your information. We will continue to keep you informed.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed that there are 64 cases of swine influenza in the United States. There are 45 cases in New York, 10 in California, 6 in Texas, 2 in Kansas, and 1 in Ohio.

The World Health Organization raised the worldwide pandemic alert level to Phase 4 which is characterized by verified person-to person transmission and the ability for the new virus to cause “community-level” outbreaks.” The increase in the pandemic alert phase indicates that the likelihood of a pandemic has increased.


HOSPITALIZED PATIENTS: Until otherwise notified, we ask that specimens be collected (see
below) from patients who have acute febrile respiratory illness (defined as influenza-like illness [ILI] in New Mexico) and are hospitalized in New Mexico with suspect or confirmed influenza.

INFLUENZA-LIKE ILLNESS DEFINITION (ILI): Fever greater or equal to 37.8°C (100°F), oral or equivalent, AND a cough and/or sore throat in absence of a known cause other than influenza

INFLUENZA SENTINEL PROVIDERS: We also ask that influenza sentinel surveillance providers in
New Mexico collect specimens from outpatients who meet the definition for influenza-like illness above.

ALL OTHER HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS: If your patient meets the definition for influenza-like illness with illness onset:
-          within 7 days of close contact with a person who is a confirmed case of swine influenza A (H1N1) virus infection, or
-          within 7 days of travel to community either within the United States or internationally where there are one or more confirmed swine influenza A(H1N1) cases, or
-          resides in a community where there are one or more confirmed swine influenza cases: we ask that you collect a nasopharyngeal swab for viral culture and call the Epidemiology  and Response Division epidemiologist on-call at 505-827-0006.

Persons with acute febrile respiratory illness should stay home from work or school to avoid spreading infections (including influenza and other respiratory illnesses) to others in their communities. In addition, frequent hand washing can lessen the spread of respiratory illness. If your condition worsens or you have questions about your illness, please contact your health care provider.

SPECIMEN COLLECTION: Please collect up to 2 (one for your in-house rapid testing and one for the state lab culture) nasopharyngeal swab from each patient with ILI, placing the swab in a standard container with 2-3 ml of viral transport media. If the patient is hospitalized with pneumonia, specimens from the lower respiratory tract (e.g., tracheal aspirate, bronchoalveolar lavage) should also be obtained. Specimens should be collected within the first 24-72 hours of onset of symptoms and no later than 5 days after onset of symptoms.

Specimens should be shipped to:  Scientific Laboratory Division, 700 Camino De Salud NE Albuquerque, NM 87131 (505) 841-2500.

SPECIMEN STORAGE: The specimens should be kept refrigerated at 4ºC and sent on cold packs if they can be received by the Scientific Lab Division (State PH lab) within 72 hours of the collection date. If samples will not be received by the laboratory within 72 hours of collection, they must be frozen at -70 ºC or below and shipped on dry ice.


Guidance is available from CDC at including:
-          Interim Guidance for Swine influenza A (H1N1): Taking Care of a Sick Person in Your Home
-          Interim Guidance on Antiviral Recommendations for Patients with Confirmed or Suspected Swine Influenza A (H1N1) Virus Infection and Close Contacts
-          Interim CDC Guidance for Nonpharmaceutical Community Mitigation in Response to Human Infections with Swine Influenza (H1N1) Virus
-          Interim Recommendations for Facemask and Respirator Use in Certain Community Settings Where Swine Influenza A (H1N1) Virus Transmission Has Been Detected
-          Interim Guidance on Specimen Collection and Processing for Patients with Suspected Swine Influenza A (H1N1) Virus Infection
-          Swine Influenza A (H1N1) Virus Biosafety Guidelines for Laboratory Workers
-          Interim Guidance for Infection Control for Care of Patients with Confirmed or Suspected Swine Influenza A (H1N1) Virus Infection in a Healthcare Setting
-          Interim Guidance on Case Definitions to be Used For Investigations of Swine Influenza A (H1N1) Cases
-          Interim Guidance to Assist Airline Flight Deck and Cabin Crew in Identifying Passengers Who May Have Swine Influenza
-          Interim Guidance-Pregnant Women and Swine Influenza: Considerations for Clinicians

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports Dispatch (April 24) provides detailed information about
the initial cases at

For more information about swine flu:

Additional information is also available by calling 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636)

Health alerts are messages from the New Mexico Department of Health that contain important information for responding to a health emergency. Health alerts are sent to health care providers, emergency responders, first responders, and other affiliated professionals.

There are four types of messages that come from the Health Alert Network (HAN):

ALERT:  Conveys the highest level of importance; warrants immediate action or attention.

ADVISORY:  Provides important information for a specific incident or situation; may not require immediate action.

UPDATE:  Provides updated information regarding an incident or situation; unlikely to require immediate action.

TEST:  Tests the alerting system technologies, the ability to reach the intended recipients, or provides simulated alerts for exercise purposes.

If you have questions about the Health Alert Network, please contact the HAN at