State Addresses Swine Flu Concerns

It's a health alert that's going global. As the swine flu sickens thousands, it's even prompted fear and questions here in Kentucky.

While there are no confirmed cases in the bluegrass state, health officials aren't taking any chances.

The outbreak started in Mexico, before spreading to other countries. In the U.S., confirmed cases are scattered across California, Texas, Kansas, Ohio and New York.

Mexico remains ground zero where all schools are closed until May 6th. There have been 149 deaths and nearly two thousand people hospitalized.

Americans are now advised to not travel to Mexico, unless it's essential. It's all a prescription for more pain for the travel industry. Oil and stock prices sank Monday.

On Monday state leaders addressed what's being done to prepare for the potential of the swine flu here.

Public Health Commissioner William Hacker advised people to be concerned, not panicked. He urged people to take simple steps like washing their hands to stop the spread of the disease.

Officials with the Lexington Fayette County Health Department are also preparing for the potential of swine flu here in Kentucky; they have set up a phone bank armed with nurses and other health officials.

All are ready to answer questions about the swine flu and help concerned citizens determine if they need to be seen by a doctor. That number is 859-288-7529.

Since the swine flu did originate in Mexico, Health Officials in Lexington say they are preparing for cases to be confirmed here, largely because of the migrant population.

They say the swine flu is basically a strain of the flu virus that can be passed from pig to pig or pig to person. They say the symptoms are the same as any other flu; aching, coughing, fever and sneezing.

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