First Probable Case in City is Identified
The City of Chicago is “as prepared as it can be” to deal with any spread of swine flu, Mayor Richard M. Daley said today.
"I want to remind everyone in the city that that is a time to be alert, be aware and be prepared -- but certainly not to panic," the Mayor said at a news conference held with Illinois Governor Pat Quinn and other city and state officials at the city’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC), 1411 W. Madison St.
Late yesterday, the Chicago Department of Public Health became aware of a probable case of swine flu in a child who attends the Kilmer School on the North Side and promptly notified officials at the Chicago Public Schools, who have decided to close the school temporarily.
At the moment, there are no other known cases of swine flu at the Kilmer School, but as public health authorities have said repeatedly, the swine flu situation is fluid and changes from day to day.
Daley said that as swine flu has spread across the United States and around the world, Chicago public health officials have said publicly that they anticipate seeing cases in Chicago and the surrounding area.
"So yesterday's announcement of a case in Northern Indiana and today's announcement of a case in the city are not a surprise," Daley said.
The Mayor said that to coordinate the City's response to the swine flu situation, it is activating the Joint Operation Center led by the Office of Emergency Management and Communications and including the Police and Fire Departments, the Aviation and Health Departments, the 311 Center, CPS and the Department of Family and Support Services.
He encouraged Chicagoans to visit the www.alertchicago.org/ website to receive emergency preparedness tips.
At the website, residents can also sign up to receive "Notify Chicago" alerts. The City already has been proactively sending facts about the swine flu using this free paging system.
Daley identified several steps already taken by City agencies regarding the swine flu:
Daley also reminded everyone that there are simple steps that should be taken that help prevent disease: