Tuesday, April 28, 2009

For the Latest on the Swine Flu

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At the time of this posting, there have been 64 confirmed cases of
 individuals infected with the swine flu, with the World Health Organization (WHO) raising the worldwide pandemic alert to Phase 4. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC), a Phase 4 alert is characterized by confirmed person-to-person spread of a new influenza virus able to cause “community-level” outbreaks.”

There have been no Bay Area cases cited, and Dr. Alvaro Garza, San Mateo County Deputy Health Officer, recommends taking the same precautions you normally would during the annual flu season (October - March). Take responsibility for your own health (and minimize the risk of others getting infected) by following these tips:
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • If you don't have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hands.
  • Wash your hands after coughing or sneezing, using soap and water or an alcohol-based hand gel.
  • If you're sick, stay 3 ft. - 6 ft. away from people; stay home until the 7-day flu period has passed.
  • If you become ill with flu-like symptoms, including fever, body aches, runny nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea, contact your health care provider. They will determine whether influenza testing or treatment is needed.

The County has set up a webpage dedicated to informing the public on the latest developments of the swine flu. You may access it by clicking here. It has condensed information from the WHO as well as CDC, and will provide you with good health and safety tips to keep in mind should you be doing any traveling. In addition, the City has a dedicated section on its Office of Emergency Services (OES) website which details the latest current/newsworthy issues for citizens to be aware of. So, take your pick, and get informed!

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