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Health

MO Health Department Officials Remain Vigilant About Swine Flu

http://ozarkspub.vo.llnwd.net/o37/KSMU/audio/mp3/mohealthde1_4390.mp3

No cases of swine flu have been reported in Missouri, but State Health Officials are taking steps to try to keep it from coming here. KSMU’s Michele Skalicky reports...

State health officials have notified health care providers of swine flu cases in the United States and are using the Health Alert Network to issue updated guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as they become available.20 cases have been confirmed in the US so far. Over the weekend, the World Health Organization declared the swine flu outbreak to be “a public health emergency of international concern.” Jaci McReynolds is spokesperson for the Springfield-Greene County Health Department...

"I think it needs to be clarified that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention did mention that there had been a public health emergency declared over the weekend. The reason for that, though, according to their spokespersons, is that it does free up the federal government to free up supplies and medications should they be needed. So, at this time, really, according to them, it's just a precautionary measure so that those resources can be released and pre-positioned."

McReynolds says it’s important for the public to stay vigilant and practice good hand washing, stay away from people who are sick and stay home if you become ill.Cases of swine flu have been confirmed in California, Texas, Kansas, Ohio and in New York City…

"However, it's important to note that all of those cases have recovered and only one was hospitalized, so that is certainly good news."

McReynolds says CDC officials are still trying to determine why swine flu cases in the US have been mild while up to 103 people have died of the disease in Mexico.Swine flu is a virus found in pigs. It’s not usually transmitted from person to person, but in this case it has been.Symptoms are similar to seasonal flu: a temperature of 100 degrees or higher, body aches , headaches, chills, cough and stuffy nose. If you have any of those symptoms and have travelled to any of the places where there have been confirmed cases within the last seven days, contact your doctor.For more information, go to www.cdc.gov.For KSMU News, I’m Michele Skalicky.