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State News: Second Virginia swine-flu death reported
Local News: Work continuing on I–81 interchange in Harrisonburg
State News: Grants for Virginians with disabilities 

State News: Second Virginia swine-flu death reported

A second death in Virginia associated with the novel influenza A (H1N1) virus, also called swine flu, was announced today by State Health Commissioner Karen Remley, M.D., MBA.

The patient was an adult male from the Arlington Health District. Although the cause of death has not been confirmed, the H1N1 virus appears to have been a factor. The patient had an underlying medical condition that put him at greater risk of complications from flu. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported 127 deaths in the nation caused by the new virus. There have been 332 deaths in laboratory-confirmed H1N1 cases worldwide.

“We offer our condolences to the family for their loss,” Dr. Remley said. “The patient’s preexisting medical conditions, which increased his risk of complications from influenza, does not lessen the impact of his death.”

Unfortunately, since seasonal flu results in about 36,000 deaths nationwide and approximately 1,000 die in Virginia each year from influenza and pneumonia, deaths associated with the H1N1 virus are not unexpected, Dr. Remley added.

The Commissioner reminds all Virginians to be vigilant in guarding against the flu and its spread. Symptoms of influenza include fever, cough, sore throat, headache, body aches, chills or fatigue. People who experience these symptoms are asked to call their health care provider or local health department to discuss the possible need for treatment.

Some people are at higher risk for complications from the virus and are strongly encouraged to call their health care providers if they experience flulike symptoms. These include people with underlying chronic health conditions, pregnant women, the elderly and the very young.

People also are advised to protect their health against influenza and other infectious diseases by:

– Staying home from work or school when ill and limiting their contact with others to keep from infecting them

– Calling their health care providers or their health department before seeking care for influenza-like illness so that the necessary infection control measures can be put in place

– Covering their nose and mouth with a tissue when they cough or sneeze and throwing the tissue in the trash after use

– Washing their hands often with soap and water, especially after they cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners also are effective

– Limiting close contact with sick people

– Preventing the spread of germs by not touching eyes, nose or mouth


Local News: Work continuing on I–81 interchange in Harrisonburg

Safety upgrade work will continue on the Interstate 81 southbound ramps at mile marker 247 and Route 33 interchange in Harrisonburg as part of a project to redesign traffic flow. Shoulder closures and possible lane closures will occur Tuesday and Wednesday from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m.

On Monday, June 29, the Route 33 traffic signal was placed into full operation. The southbound onramp to I-81 was closed permanently and traffic was switched to the new pattern. Message boards are in place indicating the new traffic pattern,

Motorists are urged to drive with caution in the area of the new signal as drivers become acquainted with its operation and the new traffic pattern.


State News: Grants for Virginians with disabilities

New this year, the Commonwealth Community Trust (CCT) announces the CCT Charitable Fund Award to provide 50 Virginia residents living with a disability who meet federal poverty guidelines a maximum award of $250 for equipment, medication or services. The Charitable Fund was established by the CCT Board of Directors as part of the organization’s mission to enrich the quality of life for people living with disabilities.

“The CCT staff is made aware every day of the myriad resources needed to meet the needs of their clients who have a disability”, said Dr. Harry Gewanter, M.D., FAAP, FACR. “As an organization, we want to make sure that we are doing what we can to provide individuals with the products and services that can improve their daily life.”

The CCT Charitable Fund Award application, due by Aug. 1, must be completed and signed by the beneficiary’s advocate who is either a care manager or other professional staff with either a private nonprofit organization or a public agency that serves people with disabilities. The applications will be reviewed by a committee and the advocates will be notified by Sept. 30, 2009. The award check will be made payable to the vendor providing the service. The CCT Charitable Fund Award application is available at:

Established in 1990 by parents of children living with a disability and professionals working with the disabled, the Commonwealth Community Trust (CCT) is a nonprofit organization that provides affordable administration of Special Needs Trusts (SNT) and acts as the trustee in managing the disbursements. The SNT will not jeopardize government entitlement programs such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid for the beneficiaries.

CCT administers two types of trusts:

– The third party Special Needs Trust is for family members who want to ensure the quality of life for a loved one with a disability by leaving funds in a trust.

– The self-funded Pooled Disability Trust for individuals who receive a personal injury award, inheritance or social security back payment.

Augusta Health Augusta Free Press Kris McMackin CPA
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Augusta Free Press