Health Department Urges Measures to Curb Flu's Spread | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Health Department Urges Measures to Curb Flu's Spread

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Basic hygiene, including soap-and-water hand washing, is still one of the best ways to prevent the spread of flu.

With the second death in Mississippi from the H1N1 flu, commonly known as swine flu, the state Department of Health is urging parents to teach children the basics of good hygiene. To date, Mississippi has confirmed 586 cases and two deaths, which is not outside the realm of normal flu deaths. Nationwide, about 36,000 Americans die from flu and complications from the illness every year.

"By the time you have flu in a school, most of the students in the school have been exposed," State Epidemiologist Dr. Mary Currier told WLBT. "And officials hope Swine Flu raises awareness about healthy habits, instead of concerns about shutting down schools."

In a letter from the state Department of Health addressed to parents, officials are attempting to allay fears and provide some guidelines in the absence of a vaccine.

"Most people—children and adults—who are otherwise healthy will completely recover in a few days," the document states.

"Novel H1N1 (swine) flu is an illness that usually includes fever with cough, sore throat, headache and/or muscle aches, and possibly nausea, diarrhea and/or vomiting," the letter states. "Pregnant women and children younger than five years old and anyone with chronic heart or lung problems (including asthma), are at risk for complications like pneumonia and hospitalization. If your child or anyone else in the family fits in any of these groups and develops the flu, call your primary healthcare provider for further instructions and guidance."

Among the measures recommended for preventing the spread of flu, basic soap-and-water hand washing, especially after coughing or sneezing, is at the top of the list. Teaching children to cover their noses and mouths with a tissue (or a shirtsleeve when tissues aren't available) and keeping sick children at home are also recommended.

The department is not closing schools at this time, based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. Officials expect a vaccine for swine flu to be available in mid-October.

Previous Comments

ID
151478
Comment

This flu got me really scared. I'm shaking like a can't fight pit bull being dragged into the Michael Vick Dog Training School. I'm more worried than an out-all-night married man getting home at 7am and having to get the wife to open the door to let him in because he can't find his keys, shirt, pants or shoes.

Author
Walt
Date
2009-09-01T17:12:29-06:00
ID
151482
Comment

Is this the Zombie flu? Because, I'm only going to get really concerned if this is FINALLY the Zombie Flu!

Author
anne mayeaux
Date
2009-09-01T21:26:56-06:00
ID
151484
Comment

Zombie Flu the only thing you can do for zombies is shoot them in the head, haven't you ever watched "Night of the Living Dead" or "Shawn of the Dead"? I am really concerned with the Swine Flu there are 145 case of flu in Clinton schools, but no mention of how many could be Swine Flu, with my immune system so low from chemo for cancer, I am worry about my daughter going to school and us both getting it.

Author
BubbaT
Date
2009-09-02T01:09:18-06:00
ID
151497
Comment

Anne-Way to let that one go after, like, SIX MONTHS. Sheesh, lady! My pedi says every case she's seen of this looks EXACTLY LIKE "THE FLU". The regular flu. The plain old garden variety flu. Yes, if you are immuno-compromised or very young or very old it should concern you...as should THE REGULAR FLU. Take universal precautions and stay away from areas heavily laden with children (they are small, dirty creatures after all)! I could freak out because I have a 12-week-old infant. But, from what I hear from my doctor (who, like, has a degree in the medical field and stuff) is that every single case she has seen is only distinguishable from the regular flu by a positive nose swab for H1N1.

Author
Lori G
Date
2009-09-02T11:47:49-06:00
ID
151501
Comment

There are several take-aways from all this: 1. Worrying won't help. 2. Practicing basic hygiene is your best defense against any kind of flu. 3. For healthy people, swine flu does not present any more (or less) risk than any other type of flu. It is, as Lori says, the same thing in terms of symptoms. 4. People die from flu, but usually, there are underlying health conditions, or the victims are elderly or very young. Pregnant women might have a higher risk of serious illness. 5. Currently, there is no vaccine for swine flu. The CDC expects to have one available by mid-October. 6. If you think you have the flu, see a doctor.

Author
Ronni_Mott
Date
2009-09-02T13:13:05-06:00
ID
151524
Comment

After four decades as a professor of ethics, not only at Emory University where I worked closely with physicians at the Center for Disease Control but also later at the Harvard Divinity School where I collaborated directly with the Physicians for Human Rights, I would answer to Ms. Gregory that “Yes, I am holding on,” long beyond the six month time frame to which she so graciously referred. I laud Ronni Mott and the entire staff of the Jackson Free Press for reporting so superbly on the H1N1 virus. As a scholar and human rights activist, who, more than once has gone through land mines to deliver medical supplies to individuals in war zones ravaged by disease and death, I remain committed to evoking in myself and others that space of connection that spans cultural, political, and racial boundaries. I also remain committed to registering, not only in my own journey but in that of others, moments of lost opportunity to evoke such a space of connection . The difficulty in such traversing involves recognizing, naming and locating strategies to rectify power imbalances, whether in the process of naming, the use of humor, or adherence to standards of truthfulness, accuracy, objectivity, fairness and public accountability as these apply to the acquisition of newsworthy information and its subsequent public dissemination.I acknowledge that this is an ongoing process, not only in myself but also in that "beloved community" that I embrace. Once again, my heartfelt thanks to the Jackson Free Press for such extraordinary work in creating a world where words of truth and justice can be spoken. You are, and will continue to be, at the heart of that "beloved community" in which I believe.

Author
anne mayeaux
Date
2009-09-02T18:14:21-06:00
ID
151525
Comment

We love you, Anne, and you know it. Otherwise, I'm not sure what is happening here exactly, but love is all that matters anyway. ;-)

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2009-09-02T18:28:36-06:00
ID
151527
Comment

Thank you, Donna. When I returned to Mississippi, after four decades of being away, you, Donna, and the entire Jackson Free Press staff, let me feel that I had truly come home. Thank you, for giving, not only me, but so many countless others, a homeland of the spirit. I love you, too.

Author
anne mayeaux
Date
2009-09-02T18:38:12-06:00
ID
151533
Comment

If you are tested for the flu now at a clinic and test positive, there is a 90 percent plus chance it is the H1N1 strain. That number will very depending on the time of year and location of course. Ronnie's points bring up one of my pet peeves and that is the "standard" handshake. When you greet someone with hand contact, you are exchanging more than just "hello" so while that person may appear to be perfectly healthy one never knows and a quick trip to the faucet with soap and water after touching is recommended.

Author
GLewis
Date
2009-09-02T19:52:02-06:00

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