Story posted 2009.05.15 JACKSON, MS -
The swine flu has finally made its way to Mississippi, and the cases are in Harrison County.
The state Health Department made that announcement Friday in Jackson.
Officials said an adult male, an adult female and a child have all been diagnosed with the H1N1 swine flu. None of those infected are related. All of them are at home and reportedly doing well.
"This is not a surprise to us - we knew that H1N1 swine flu would eventually arrive in Mississippi, and we are prepared with stockpiled anti-viral medications and supplies. We've been educating the public, and we're here to answer any questions or concerns. The good news is that this strain of flu is similar to seasonal flu, and most people infected with H1N1 swine flu should recover on their own," said State Health Officer Dr. Ed Thompson.
According to Dr. Thompson, H1N1 swine flu responds well to traditional anti-viral medications. The very young, the elderly, pregnant women and the chronically ill may be at higher risk.
The MSDH will also activate a Swine Flu Hotline seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. at 1-877-222-9FLU (1-877-222-9358).
"This is no time to panic; instead, it is a time to be cautious and mindful of good health practices with which you and your families are already familiar," Governor Haley Barbour told Mississippians on Friday.
"The state Department of Health is on top of the situation in Mississippi and will continue to monitor and issue guidance as necessary."
Health experts say prevention is the best method of protection, and Mississippians are encouraged to take the following precautions to reduce the risk of contracting H1N1 swine flu and other flu-like illnesses: Wash your hands frequently
Cough or sneeze into your sleeve
Avoid close contact with those who are sick
If you are ill, stay home until you are well,
unless you need to see a doctor, in which case call first to prevent possible transmission in the doctor's waiting area.
Common sense stuff that just too many people don't do. We won't hear alot about the flu for a while, just some 3rd page stories here and there, until Autumn and Winter come around again. And of course, everyone will have to be reminded about these same basic, common sense practicalities again as though they've never heard them before.
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