DES MOINES Governor Chet Culver announced today that the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) has been awarded $3.4 million from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to support efforts to prepare and respond to an expected resurgence of the novel influenza A (H1N1) virus this fall.
"My office is working closely with our Department of Public Health to plan and initiate strategies to respond to another wave of H1N1 this fall," said Governor Culver. "While we cannot predict the extent or severity of the virus this fall, we are striving to be fully prepared for whatever direction this virus takes."
The funds awarded to Iowa will help the state prepare for a second wave of illness in a variety of ways, including:
Support for vaccination efforts in local communities to enhance public accessibility.
Education for the public and health care providers to keep everyone informed as the situation evolves.
Support for local public health agency preparedness efforts.
All states are receiving funding based upon a formula approved by Congress.
Iowans are encouraged to make individual preparations for the upcoming flu season. Individuals and families should:
Create contingency plans in case a family member or child is ill and needs to stay home.
Ensure everyone in the family knows how to protect themselves and others by covering coughs and sneezes, staying home when ill and washing their hands.
Stay informed by listening for public health messages and visiting the IDPH website.
To date, there have been 208 confirmed cases of H1N1, including one death, in Iowa.
For more information about novel influenza A (H1N1) visit http://www.idph.state.ia.us/h1n1/.