Chatham County: Swine Flu Confirmed In A Georgia Hospital Patient
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has confirmed that a 30-year old woman being treated in a LaGrange, Georgia hospital has the H1N1 influenza virus, or swine flu. This is the first known presence of the current swine flu strain in a human in Georgia, however the CDC has not yet listed Georgia as an affected state. The woman traveled to Georgia from her home state of Kentucky, and her symptoms began before she left Kentucky. Therefore, the case is considered a Kentucky case.
"It's important not to focus on the details of where she got it or whether or not Georgia is on the CDC's list of affected states," cautions Dr. Diane Weems, Chief Medical Officer of the Coastal Health District. "This current virus is spreading much like seasonal flu, so we can reasonably expect it to begin spreading throughout the country, including in Georgia. I think this is just a reminder that we all need to be vigilant about healthy habits and prepare in case the situation worsens to a flu pandemic."
Swine flu is a respiratory disease of pigs that does not normally infect humans; however, this current strain has become effective in spreading from human to human. The symptoms of swine flu in people are often similar to regular seasonal flu and include fever, lethargy, lack of appetite and coughing. Some people with swine flu also have reported runny nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
The Health Department continues to urge the public to take the following steps:
• If you're sick, stay at home to avoid spreading germs to others. If your symptoms are severe or if you're concerned that you may have been infected with swine flu, contact your health care provider.
• Wash your hands often to prevent the spread of germs. You should also cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you sneeze, and avoid touching your nose, eyes or mouth.
• Consider gathering supplies you might need if you had to stay at home for several days, just as you might prepare for any emergency. We recommended stocking nonperishable food and water, and replenishing your supply of medications.