Government of the Federated States of Micronesia

More Cases of H1N1 Influenza Confirmed in FSM

Palikir, Pohnpei (FSM Information Services): August 26, 2009 - On Friday, August 21, 2009, the FSM National H1N1 Task Force convened to discuss issues to assist in the preparedness and response effort to the several new cases of H1N1 Influenza that have been confirmed in the FSM. Acting Assistant Secretary for Health and Social Affaris (DHSA) and acting Chairman of the National H1N1 Task Force, Mr. Moses Pretrick, called the meeting based on new cases of H1N1 Influenza being reported by the FSM National Influenza Surveillance Coordinator, Ms. Melinda Manglay. During the meeting, Ms. Manglay gave the latest updated details on newly confirmed cases of H1N1 Influenza in the FSM States of Pohnpei and Yap. She explained that in the two latest sets of samples sent to Australia for testing, there were 7 new confirmed cases of H1N1 in Pohnpei State and 4 new cases in Yap State. The samples were sent in for testing on two different dates, July 14th and July 28th. According to Ms. Manglay, it took about a month to receive the test results due to a combination of shipping and testing issues. While information on the patients who tested positive remains confidential, their illness history, including no recent history of off-island travel, and illness signs and symptoms strongly indicate that there is local community transmission of the H1N1 virus.

The Taskforce wants to inform the general public that as the states department of health services continues with their preparedness and response efforts, there will be a point at which sampling of specimens from suspect cases will need to be changed to meet the progress of the H1N1 influenza.

The Taskforce wants to inform the public of the presence of the H1N1 virus in our communities, but stressed that all the states department of health services are working hard to help and prevent H1N1-related complication. To help the process, the Taskforce continues to encourage the general public to do the general hygienic measures that includes:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based gel, especially after you cough or sneeze.

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw used tissue in a trash can.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

  • If you are sick stay home for at least 24 hours after fever is resolved.

  • Avoid close contact with sick people (standing closer than 6 feet, touching, kissing, hugging)

  • Do not travel, if you are ill.

  • Seek medical assistance if you are having flu-like symptoms for proper evaluation and testing.

The Taskforce is awaiting recommendations and updates from the Immunization Section and Public Health and Hospital Preparedness Program of the Department of Health and Social Affairs on the work-progress and status of when the FSM might be able to receive the H1N1 vaccine currently underproduction. However, the four states department of health services had already started working on vaccination plans so that they are better prepared to carry out vaccination campaigns.

Remember, if you get sick, especially if you develop a flu-like illness, avoid or limit contact with others and REPORT TO THE HOSPITAL FOR IMMEDIATE MEDICAL CARE. Be sure to tell them right away that you might have the flu.

For more information, please contact one of the following:

Pohnpei State Hospital 320-2215
Pohnpei State Public Health 320-2217
Yap State Hospital 350-2115
Chuuk State Hospital 330-2216
Kosrae State Hospital 370-3200
FSM Department of Health Services (in Palikir) 320-2619

For further information on this release, please contact:

FSM Office of the President
Public Information: Press, Radio, Video
P.O Box 34
Palikir Station, Pohnpei, FM 96941
Tel.: (691) 320-2548/2092
Fax.: (691) 320-4356