How to Prepare for H1N1

By: Ashley Reynolds Email
By: Ashley Reynolds Email

Many Eastern Kentuckians are wondering how to protect their families and businesses from the H1N1 virus.

Martha Jane Potter Elementary School in Letcher County closed this week because of a confirmed case of H1N1.

Now folks around the region are asking, what they can do to stay healthy.

Health officials say they are prepared for the worst, but hoping for the best.

While flu season starts in November, the Primary Care Center in Hazard is already working under the flu season protocol.

Folks with flu like symptoms can be assured the workers at Primary Care are ready.

"We try to be ready for the flu season when it gets here instead of making up ground once it begins. We like to be prepared," said Rocky Jett with Primary Care Centers.

And that means health care providers are already working under the flu season standards - getting sick patients out the door sooner and extra cleaning.

"When we have a patient that comes in and they are presenting flu like symptoms we go ahead and do our flu screenings which test for flu A and flu B. if they test positive for B, we go ahead and do an extra swab and send it off to test for the H1N1 flu," said Jett.

Health officials say the best line of defense against the H1N1 virus is cleaning. Make sure to use disinfectant spray...this will help keep the germs from spreading.

"I think the most important thing, is that we follow normal public health precautions...related to coughing and sneezing...making sure you use a tissue...if a tissue is not available cough into your sleeve," said David Reece with Kentucky River District Health Department.

The H1N1 is a new type of flu - so researchers are still learning about the virus.

As of now, Kentucky has not had a large-scale outbreak, but officials say they are ready.

"If it becomes more severe...if there more and more cases...and there are many people that are away from work and out of school...then the precautions need to be more severe," said Reece.

You can find more recommendations from the CDC and Kentucky health officials on Ashley's Extras .

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