POSTED: Monday, April 27, 2009 - 10:13pm
UPDATED: Thursday, February 25, 2010 - 12:32pm
The Center for Disease Control is issuing an Emergency Health Warning on the deadly swine flu.
There are now 20 confirmed cases in the United States, and a hundred deaths already reported in Mexico.
News Center 23 spoke with the Texas State Health Department to find out what they're doing to keep residents in the Valley safe.
There are no confirmed cases of swine flu in South Texas yet.
Director for the Texas State Health Department, Brian Smith says there are about 20 local flu-like cases, which have been sent off to The Center for Disease Control for confirmation.
Those samples usually take about four days for the results.
In the meantime, Dr. Smith says residents don't need to panic.
The State Health Department is keeping a close eye on each case.
If an outbreak, were to occur in the valley, he says they have a "social distance" plan ready.
Social distancing slows down the spread of the virus at schools and other public places.
What they would do, is close down these public places, and isolate those with flu symptoms.
Dr. Smith says, with this scare, there are precautions, everyone can take, to keep themselves from getting sick.
"Most important, not go to work, not go to school, if you have flu-like symptoms, second is good hand washing, and third is good respiratory hygeine, which means, if you use a tissue, throw it away."
The difficulty with swine flu, he says, is it doesn't have any protective antibodies, which will make it easier to spread.
Severe fevers, coughs, and runny noses, are a few of the symptoms.
Right now, Tamiflu and Relenza are the medications being used to fight the virus.
Dr. Smith says the good news is, the swine flu is showing some sensitivity to these medicines.
As always, this doctor recommends plenty of sleep, and a healthy diet, which helps build up your immune system.
On average, there are 36-thousand deaths a year from the common flu...
At this time, there are no reported deaths from swine flu in Texas.