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Tulsa Encourages Health Precautions Related To Swine Flu

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

Tulsa Health Department officials are closely monitoring a developing swine flu public health event. Although there are no confirmed cases of swine flu in Oklahoma at this time, the Tulsa Health Department has heightened their disease surveillance activities and is encouraging residents to take precautions.

Swine flu is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A influenza viruses. Outbreaks of swine flu happen regularly in pigs. People do not normally get swine flu, but human infections can and do happen. Most commonly, human cases of swine flu happen in people who are around pigs but it’s possible for swine flu viruses to spread from person to person also as evidenced by the events currently taking place.

The Tulsa Health Department encourages individuals to do the following:

* Be aware of symptoms of flu including fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills, fatigue, and in some cases diarrhea and vomiting. Of particular concern are individuals who are exhibiting symptoms and have recently traveled to Mexico or have been in close contact with someone who has recently traveled to Mexico.

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* If a person is exhibiting severe flu-like symptoms they should consult their primary care physician by phone for medical guidance prior to arriving at the physician's office. This will minimize the potential spread of illness.

* Practice frequent, thorough hand washing for a full twenty seconds with warm water and soap.

* Avoid contact with individuals who are ill.

* Consider having an emergency preparedness supply kit in your home.

There are currently 20 confirmed cases of swine flu in the United States including 8 in New York, 1 in Ohio, 2 in Kansas, 2 in Texas, and 7 in California. All confirmed U.S. cases at this time have recovered from their illness and only one required hospitalization. Currently, there are no swine flu deaths in the United States.