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NCHD recommends good health practices in swine flu outbreak PDF Print E-mail
Written by Deanna Herbert   
    In response to the rapidly changing swine flu outbreak in parts of the United States, John Crosthwait, district public health administrator of the Northeast Colorado Health Department, would like to remind residents that although there are no documented or reported Colorado cases associated with the outbreak at this time, remaining alert and maintaining good health practices is important.
    “Although we have not had any cases as of yet in this state, there remains a possibility of that happening and we should be prepared for that,” said Crosthwait.
    “Right now we are working closely with the state health department and our local partners to monitor the situation and make any changes as needed. The most important thing to remember is that so far in the U.S. this is a mild illness and utilizing good health practices can go a long way toward limiting your risk of illness, including swine flu.”
    Precautions that can help reduce your chances of getting flu include:
    —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 hand cleaners are also effective.
    —Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth as that is how germs are spread.
    As of Tuesday, April 28, there have been 40 confirmed cases of swine influenza in the United States involving California, Texas, Kansas, New York and Ohio. The number of cases in Mexico and other countries has not been confirmed.
    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has not issued any travel warnings or restrictions, but does recommend that people traveling from the U.S. to affected areas should be aware of the risk of illness and take precautions.
    Dr. Ned Calonge, the state health department’s chief medical officer is asking that all individuals with mild flu-like illness to stay home.  This is regardless of travel history.  Children and adolescents with fever should not go to day care or school. Adults with fever should not go to work until their symptoms resolve. Individuals with severe illness, such as difficulty breathing, should contact their health care provider.
    The symptoms of swine flu in people are similar to the symptoms of seasonal flu in humans and may include: fever greater than 100°F, sore throat, cough, stuffy nose, chills, headache and body aches, and fatigue. Some people have reported diarrhea and vomiting associated with swine flu.
    Severe illness (pneumonia and respiratory failure) and deaths have been reported with swine flu infection outside the US. Like seasonal flu, swine flu may cause a worsening of underlying chronic medical conditions.
    Swine flu is passed from person to person and not from pigs or from eating pork.
    As this appears to be a rapidly evolving situation, residents should stay alert for changes in guidance, available on the web at www.cdc.gov/swineflu as we learn more. Information about swine flu is also available from the Colorado Health Emergency Line for the Public, CoHELP, at 1-877-462-2911.