Local Health Officials On Alert For Swine Flu In Kentucky

By: Marie Luby Email
By: Marie Luby Email

Kentucky's Department for Public Health is asking health care providers to be on the alert for potential cases of swine flu in Kentucky.
The CDC now confirms 40 cases in five states, including neighboring Ohio.
So far there are no confirmed cases in Kentucky.
We hear from local health officials preparing for a possible outbreak here.

A swine flu outbreak led federal officials to declare at state of public health emergency Sunday. State health officials have asked for extra supplies like antiviral drugs and masks, just in case.

Carolyn Boggs, Infection Control Coordinator at the Hazard ARH, says, "We're just preparing ourselves. The ER is well aware of what the symptoms are, and anybody that comes in with those kinds of symptoms, they will be checking them."

If any patients test positive for influenza A, local health care providers are being asked to send the samples to a state laboratory for further testing. Swine flu symptoms are similar to the seasonal flu. Health experts say if you're starting to get symptoms, make sure to tell your doctor if you've been to places like Mexico, California or San Antonio, or if you've had contact with anyone who's been traveling.

Rinda Vanderhoof, Nurse Administrator for the Laurel County Health Department, says, "We are a global community. We have people in our area that travel to foreign countries, that go to different states to conduct business, or education purposes or for pleasure, so the likelihood of it occuring in Kentucky is that of any other state."

Health officials say the best prevention is hand-washing.

Vanderhoof says, "This is our job. This is our responsibility. We plan for these type of situations. We may not broadcast that to the public, but in the background there is not a health department in the state of Kentucky that has not done preparation for this."

Of the 40 cases nationwide, only one person has been hospitalized and all others are recovering.

Health officials say you can not become infected from eating pork. You can catch swine flu through coughing or sneezing.
For more information, visit http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/


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