H1N1 Forum

By: Angela Sparkman Email
By: Angela Sparkman Email

Health officials say the H1N1 flu is widespread in Kentucky and still spreading.

If the H1N1 flu keeps spreading, officials say it could hit 40 percent of the workforce.

Some local leaders say in this economy, they cannot take that risk.

A doctor from Louisville held an H1N1 forum in Paintsville Friday afternoon for government officials, business leaders, and health care workers.

Dr. Ruth Carrico says this is a new virus, so no one is immune and at risk to get it.

Officials, business leaders, and health care workers discussed how to keep H1N1 from spreading at work places, schools, and churches.

University of Louisville's Dr. Ruth Carrico says they are seeing a lot of flu activity in Kentucky and it is spreading even more.

“Nobody can get away from this. If you're around people, then you're at risk,” Dr. Carrico said.

Magoffin County Judge-Executive Dr. Charles Hardin worries what could happen if H1N1 hits county workers or any other local business employees. Health officials say the flu could potentially infect 40 percent of Kentucky's work force.

“You can't take 40 percent of your people out of any organization and not really cripple it. At this point in our economy, we just can't afford to not minimize this flu,” Dr. Hardin said.

“We don't want anyone to go through that. We want to be able to use what we have and use our public health measures so that we have a very strong and economically vibrant communities,” Dr. Carrico said.

Dr. Carrico told the group the best way to keep the flu away is to just make everyone take hygiene precautions to not catch it.

“None of this is rocket science. It's all very simple. Keep your hands clean, cover your moth when you cough, don't go to work sick,” Dr. Carrico said.

Dr. Carrico recommends getting the H1N1 vaccine. She believes it is safe.

“Oh absolutely, as soon as it is available in Louisville, I'll be pushing my kids up the line as soon as we can,” Dr. Carrico said.

Leaders at the forum along with health care workers say they will consider all of her advice and work together.

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