Swine Flu Oklahoma
The swine flu continues to skip across the United States from state to state and that has officials in Lawton on alert. Health officials here said they are in constant communication with the State Health Department. In case the worst happens, the Comanche County Health Department said its priority would be to direct local doctors where to get antibiotics. Then it would help the centers for disease control find the source.
Health officials say the most susceptible are the young, the elderly, and those with conditions that could leave them vulnerable to the swine flu. That's why Lisa Whitehead is worried about her 7-month-old daughter Brigitte. She doesn't take daughter Brigitte to too many places because she was born with Prader-Willi Syndrome, or PWS. It's a complex genetic disorder that makes her particularly vulnerable to illness. "It seems like a plague to me....I'm very afraid of her getting sick. She's already sick enough as it is," said Whitehead.
Health Department Director Keith Reed said as with any virus, it can spread quickly within families because of the close quarters. "Influenza is normally spread through coughing and sneezing and if you're within 3 feet of an individual, you're more likely to come down with the virus."
Reed said that could explain why so many have died in Mexico. There is a large population there with many of them living in close quarters. "Anytime you have large numbers of people infected you have greater risk of those with underlying medical conditions being more susceptible and dying from the disease."
Although there have not been any cases here in Oklahoma, Reed wants to get the message out--wash your hands often. And he recommends if you or your child is sick, "be proactive staying home from school or work if they are indeed sick the best way to prevent this from spreading person to person."
That's why Lisa said she puts on a face mask if she goes into a school, and she is religious about using hand sanitizer. "It's kind of nerve wracking knowing that it's going around and you don't know if it's in the air who has it and who doesn't. And if you touch something if you can get it or what not," said Whitehead.
Health officials said the swine flu isn't something new. While there is no vaccine available, there are anti-flu drugs that do work once someone is sick.
Here's what Reed said to do to fend off any flu; including the swine flu.Wash your hands every time you get a chance, avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, and keep at least 3-feet between yourself and others in public.
Again, there have been no cases so far in Oklahoma.