CHHS works with Montgomery County to prepare for second wave of H1N1

May 11th, 2009

The spring of 2009 has launched one of the year’s most publicized events, on an international scale – the H1N1 “Swine Flu” international public health crisis.  Montgomery County, Maryland has not been immune from the impact.  CHHS is helping the county navigate through this major public health event by facilitating discussion among county agencies, and strategizing next steps.

The H1N1 crisis first made headlines around April 6, 2009, when the Mexican Minister of Health reported that 3,000 people were confirmed sick in La Gloria, Mexico, all suffering from the same “mystery” flu ailment. By April 17, the first United States H1N1 cases appeared, and over the next week, more domestic cases were confirmed. By April 28, 11 swine flu cases were suspected in Maryland. The next day brought the first probable case in Montgomery County. By April 30, Maryland had eight probable cases, two of which were in Montgomery County, and the Governor declared a Public Health Emergency. 

Just weeks later, Montgomery County is still reeling from this major public health event. Despite what is still a hectic atmosphere, last week, the county prioritized a meeting of relevant agencies to regroup and gather some lessons learned.  CHHS was on hand to facilitate what was a robust discussion, and later, to follow up with some recommendations for improvement – to give the county an even stronger tool-kit of response capabilities, as the next wave of H1N1 is considered imminent. 

As a CHHS participant in that after-action meeting, I’m confident that when that second wave hits, Montgomery County will be prepared and united in its response. I’m pleased CHHS could be there to help.

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