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Calaveras Public Health Dept Monitors Swine Flu Progress

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Calaveras County Health Officer, Dr. Dean Kelaita, was KVML’s Wednesday “Newsmaker of the Day” to discuss the latest on the swine flu.

As of April 27, 2009, the U.S. had confirmed 64 cases of the new influenza. Eleven cases were from Southern California, and 3 cases were identified in nearby Sacramento.

Cases of flu in Mexico continue with severe illness and deaths occurring. Health officials consider the outbreak to be ongoing and expect more cases. No cases of swine flu have been reported in Calaveras County at this time.

Swine flu is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by a type A influenza virus. The virus regularly causes outbreaks of flu among pigs. Swine flu viruses do not normally infect humans. However, human infections with swine flu do occur. Public health officials have determined that this strain of swine flu spreads from human to human.

Dr. Kelaita, expressed concern about the increasing cases in the state and country.

“The Calaveras County Public Health Department is working closely with local health providers and the Mark Twain St. Joseph’s Hospital to identify any local cases,” said Kelaita. “The Public Health Department will provide information and updates to the community through the local media and the Public Health website.”

Because there is no vaccine available at this time, preventive actions are important for individuals, families and the community.

Kelaita recommended the community take the following prevention steps:

Try to avoid close contact with sick people.

If you get sick with influenza, stay home from work or school. Limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.

Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw used tissue in the trash.

Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread this way.

Persons who recently traveled to Mexico and become ill with flu-like symptoms should contact their medical provider.

Flu symptoms include fever, cough and a sore throat. Other symptoms may occur such as runny nose, body aches, vomiting or diarrhea.
Health care providers will determine whether influenza testing is needed.

Information on swine flu is available at the Public Health Department website at www.co.calaveras.ca.us or by calling the Calaveras County Public Health Department at 754-6460.

The Newsmaker of the Day is heard each weekday morning on AM 1450 KVML at 6:47, 7:47 and 8:47am

Written by the Calaveras County Public Health Department and mark@mlode.com