"We are working very hard to get ahead of this virus," said Governor Bobby Jindal.
With swine flu now confirmed and suspected in five states including our neighbor Texas, Governor Jindal is taking action. GOHSEP activating their crisis action team monitoring national trends and any reported cases in Louisiana.
"We're also tracking hospital admissions at select hospitals across the state. We're working with the Louisiana Hospital Association and Louisiana pharmacies to access the availability of the anti-flu drug as well as there capacity in terms of in patient capacity," said Gov. Jindal.
As of now, the state has a stockpile of adult and pediatric anti-viral doses, including more than 377,000 Tamiflu treatments and 94.000 Relenza treatments.
"In addition to that the CDC has on behalf of Louisiana 669,000 courses already ear-marked for Louisiana in the national stockpile. They are offering us 25% of that stockpile, which is in the process of being shipped to our state," explained Gov. Jindal.
But these drugs are only preventative treatment - not vaccines. Officials say a vaccine could take several months. With the symptoms much like the normal flu strand, Jindal urges anyone who feels sick to take the necessary precautions.
"It would be better not to go to work to stay away from school and crowds of people if you do get sick from influenza," said Gov. Jindal.
Also on hand are 30-thousand collection kits. Should Louisiana doctors suspect a case - those kits would be tested and sent off to be confirmed by the CDC.
"In closing, just a couple of points to summarize this is a situation that could change very quickly here in Louisiana there are no confirmed cases at this point in time, " said Gov. Jindal. "I think we would be wise to take precaution. I think at this point it is smart for our people to make sure they are doing everything they can to protect themselves and at the first time of symptoms consult a physician. I do expect and obviously don't want to speculate but based on what we know I do suspect that as more people are aware of the symptoms I think you are going to see the number of confirmed cases in the U.S. go up over the next few days."
Gov. Jindal also refers anyone with questions to the following websites.