HUDSON—As the World Health Organization was preparing to raise the threat level a notch higher to Level 5, county health officials were stepping up their efforts to identify any suspected cases of the new swine flu virus and to prevent transmission of the illness if and when it appears here. There were reports of suspected cases midweek in the Capital District, including in Albany and Schenectady.
Columbia County has now set up a local hotline for inquiries about the H1N1 swine flu virus. The number is (518) 828-1212. Arthur Baer, Chairman of the county Board of Supervisors announced the phone number Thursday, saying it had been activated for county residents as a point of contact for all questions about the H1N1 swine flu only.
Mr. Baer and Nancy Winch, director of the county Department of Health, said in the press release announcing the hotline that there were no confirmed cases of swine flu in Columbia County as of Thursday afternoon, April 30.
But two cases of influenza type A in children were reported at Columbia Memorial Hospital earlier this week according to the hospital’s infectious diseases consultant, Dr. Amanthakrishnan Ramani. Neither was swine flu. The determination is made by a judgment call and points out the complexities of the problem presented by the fast-evolving epidemic.