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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 28, 2009

Contact: Greg Wilkinson , (907) 269-7285, Cell (907) 382-7032
Ann Potempa , (907) 269-7957, Cell (907) 230-4001

Alaska reports first H1N1 (swine) flu case

Fairbanks resident first in state to test positive

audio clip Listen to audio from 5-28-09 press availibility (mp3, 18 minutes, 4mb)

audio clip Listen to Dr. Jay Butler in our new H1N1 radio Public Service Announcement . (mp3)

(Anchorage, AK) — The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services virology laboratory in Fairbanks reported its first positive test for the novel H1N1 (swine) flu in Alaska on Wednesday. This is the first confirmed case of the new flu strain in Alaska.

State epidemiologists have contacted the patient, a middle-aged woman from the Fairbanks area, whose flu-like symptoms started approximately two weeks ago, to begin their investigation into where or how she may have contracted the virus and to learn who she may have been in contact with while she was contagious.

The Alaska Public Health Virology Lab in Fairbanks has tested more than 516 flu samples since April 27, 2009.

WHAT:

Press availability about confirmed case of H1N1 (swine) flu

WHEN:

1:00 p.m. Thursday, May 28, 2009

WHERE:

Department of Health and Social Services
Frontier Building, Suite 990 or telephonically at 1-800-315-6338, 7800#

WHO:

Dr. Joe McLaughlin, State Epidemiologist
Dr. Jay Butler, Chief Medical Officer (telephonically)
Terry Schmidt, director, Alaska State Public Health Virology Lab (telephonically)

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DHSS is now on Twitter. Follow health updates at www.twitter.com/Alaska_DHSS .