Swine Flu: When To See Your Doctor

By: Marie Luby Email
By: Marie Luby Email

Questions about swine flu are increasing as the virus spreads to ten states in the U.S. and nine countries.

The CDC now confirms 91 cases including one death nationwide -- still no cases in Kentucky.

Many people are wondering: when should you go to the doctor?

When 18-month-old Macie Shepherd ran a fever of almost 103 Tuesday night, her mother thought of the toddler who just died in Texas from swine flu.

Holly Shepherd says, "Swine flu's the first thing I thought of, even though there's not been any cases here in Kentucky, I was like flipping out thinking 'Oh no, there's going to have to be one case, maybe this could be the one.' "

Nurses say Shepherd did the right thing having Macie checked out. She tests positive for Influenza Type B -- ruling out swine flu, which is connected only to Type A.

Anita Gambill, LPN at Primary Care in Hazard, says, "Swine flu is a flu like any other flu. You need to come in, see your doctor, be assessed, and be tested."

But it's also the height of allergy season in Kentucky, so people with allergies might experience some of the same symptoms of swine flu.

Rinda Vanderhoof, Nurse Administrator for the Laurel County Health Department, says, "So they just need to be aware of what they've experienced in the past, and if they feel that this is something that they get every year at this time, then yes it probably is their allergic symptoms."

If the symptoms are not routine or you've travelled to other countries, health officials say it's better to err on the side of caution. Samples from any patients testing positive for Influenza Type A will go on to a state lab, where officials can test for swine flu.

The CDC expects more swine flu deaths, and that has moms like Shepherd reconsidering summer travel...

"We'll probably not have any vacation this year," she says, because she doesn't want to take any chances with her daughter.

Like any other flu, health officials say prevention is key.
Wash your hands, use sanitizer, cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing, and wipe down commonly touched surfaces like keyboards and telephones.
We also want to remind you, you can NOT get swine flu from eating pork.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by rhonda Location: barbourville on May 3, 2009 at 03:32 PM
    God is in control things is going to happen and their is nothing anyone can do about it. If more people would have faith in god he could make away. The unite states have forgeted or sweet jesus. the world needs to get back under gods commitments.
  • by Anonymous Location: Kentucky on May 1, 2009 at 07:14 AM
    My husband is in the military, I seriously doubt they are to blame for this, especially since it originated in Mexico. I am just grateful that it hasn't hit KY yet, and hope it doesn't. Additionally I hope all cases seen remain mild and this dissapates fast. That's what's important. Also, the vials lost were virus that affected horses. I thought that might of had something to do with the horses that fell ill in the Polo tournament.
  • by WooHoo on Apr 30, 2009 at 08:34 AM
    OK Folks, line up for your flu vaccine, nothing to see here, no , we can't tell you what's in it..just shuttup and hold out your arm.......... No. Thanks.
  • by MT CHILD Location: KY on Apr 30, 2009 at 05:47 AM
    If everyone can recall about a month to six weeks ago, didnt someone steal 3 virus vials from a lab?
  • by Emily Location: Pikeville on Apr 30, 2009 at 05:36 AM
    I agree with Cynic but I hope that now that Obama is in office he will put a stop to this.
  • by Cynic Location: S.E. Ky on Apr 29, 2009 at 06:45 PM
    It wouldn't surprise me in the least if this was one of the "tailored" viruses engineered in a lab for use as a weapon by a country that "accidentally" got loose. It would surprise me even less if we were the country in question. We've certainly seen plenty of questionable practices recently by our military (acting under orders from on high I well know, just so none think me against our armed forces. I'm not. I don't agree with those that tell THEM where to go and what to do...for the wrong reasons) to give credibility to the notion that our government is capable of doing anything while preaching something entirely different.

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