Carter County Health Department Administrator Mendy Spohn said local residents need to “become familiar with the symptoms of swine flu” and practice preventive measures.


 


Google Map of Swine Flu outbreaks


Carter County Health Department Administrator Mendy Spohn said local residents need to “become familiar with the symptoms of swine flu” and practice preventive measures.


“I will be contacting partners in our communities to remind them of existing plans relating to influenza,” Spohn said Sunday afternoon. “It is very important for people to cover their cough and wash their hands.  Businesses should enhance their hygiene practices and consider their sick leave policies. People who are sick should not be at work or at school.”


Swine flu symptoms in humans are similar to the symptoms of seasonal influenza and include: fever greater than 100 degrees, body aches, coughing, sore throat, respiratory congestion, and in some cases, diarrhea and vomiting.


Spohn said the Oklahoma State Department of Health has issued a public health advisory for all Oklahomans planning to travel to Mexico. According to Spohn, the travel advisory is a precautionary step in the state’s monitoring and surveillance of the newly emerging swine influenza virus.

 

Google Map of Swine Flu outbreaks


The travel advisory is based on reports from the World Health Organization concerning numerous human cases of a severe respiratory illness in at least three different regions of Mexico. The number of cases has risen steadily since the beginning of the month. Laboratory testing of patient specimens has confirmed infections with swine influenza (“swine flu”) A/H1N1 virus.


According to the travel advisory, swine flu “is a newly emerging, animal-origin virus that is now being spread from an infected person to another person.”


Oklahoma health officials are urging travelers to follow these recommendations:


While in Mexico:  


* Avoid close contact (less than 3  feet) with persons who are coughing or otherwise appear  ill 

* Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. 

*Wash hands frequently, or use alcohol-containing hand sanitizer gel.


Upon return from travels in Mexico:

* Monitor yourself and your travel companions for symptoms of fever, chills, headache, sore throat, cough, body aches and vomiting or diarrhea. 

* If symptoms of illness develop within 10 days of your return, seek evaluation by a health care provider as soon as possible. 


* Be sure to tell your health care provider about your recent trip and suggest testing for influenza.

* Stay home from work, school and  other public places until you are feeling well.


Spohn said the Oklahoma State Department of Health has strengthened its influenza surveillance and is asking health care providers to consider testing patients for influenza who present flu-like illness, especially if they have traveled to Mexico or one of the states known to have cases.


Marsha Miller 221-6529