Swine Flu Causes Health Concern

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is currently investigating human cases of a new type of swine influenza in five U.S. states.

The symptoms of swine flu in humans are similar to those of seasonal flu, causing fever, respiratory symptoms and body ache.

At this time, all known cases in the United States have recovered, with one hospitalization.

Mississippi health officer Dr. Ed Thompson says there's been no confirmed case of swine flu in the state, but officials have requested additional dosages of a vaccine used to treat the illness.

Thompson said the state Department of Health is in the process of testing 10 specimens taken from patients, and if any are believed to be swine flu, they'll be sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for confirmation.

Thompson said the flu strain that has killed about 150 in Mexico and sickened others in five states is likely to eventually make it to Mississippi.

Thompson says the state has requested 75,000 additional dosages of Tamiflu, which is being used to treat the symptoms of swine flu.

Alabama state health officer, Donald Williamson, says there have not been any cases of swine flu reported in Alabama, but it is likely only a matter of time.

Alabama Homeland Security director Jim Walker said border agents at Mobile's port will screen people returning from cruises to Mexico, where the flu strain has killed up to 86 people and likely sickened about 1,400.

Williamson said Alabama has more than 500,000 courses of anti-viral medication available in case of an outbreak.

Health officials urge people to practice good hygiene by washing their hands and staying home if they are sick.

The CDC makes suggestions on what you can do to stay healthy

* Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
* Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hands cleaners are also effective.
* Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.

Try to avoid close contact with sick people.

* Influenza is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected people.
* If you get sick, CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
powered by Disqus
WTOK-TV 815 23rd Ave Meridian, Ms. 39301 Phone: (601) 693-1441
Gray Television, Inc. - Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 43774317