|Polk County Enterprise - Local News
Stories Added - June 2009
Copyright 2008 - Polk County Publishing Company
Polk County health officials confirm first swine flu case
Polk County Enterprise - June 2009
BY VALERIE REDDELL
LIVINGSTON —Polk County Emergency Management offi cials confi rmed the fi rst local case of H1N1 (Swine) fl u on Friday. The patient is a 7-year-old white male who was diagnosed in the emergency room at Memorial Medical Center Hospital, according to spokeswoman Angie Everitt. “The Angelina Health District in cooperation with Polk County Emergency Management Coordinator Larry Shine are gathering information from the child’s family and keeping in close contact to ensure the child is receiving proper care and that other family members are not experiencing symptoms,” Everett said. The child is being treated at home, where he will remain for the next seven days. The mother of Patient 1 contacted the Enterprise Saturday and spoke about her son and his diagnosis.
Patient 1 attends school in Livingston Independent School District, but did not develop any signs or symptoms of the flu until after students were released from school The mother took her son to the emergency room Tuesday night in respiratory distress due to an asthma attack. Doctors ordered a flu test which came back positive for Type A fl u, further testing showed it to be H1N1. The mother said she and the rest of her family are quarantining themselves at their lake area residence and Patient 1 is doing well. She adds that she doesn’t know how her son came in contact with the virus. The family has not traveled — and certainly not to Mexico or other areas hard-hit by the pandemic. Of the 25 suspected cases in Polk County, this is the fi rst confi rmed case.
The Medical Subcommittee of the Local Emergency Planning Committee, in conjunction with the Angelina Health District is reviewing protocol and procedures in preparation for the upcoming fl u season. The World Health Organization declared Thursday that swine fl u has reached pandemic levels. Texas — as the fi rst state to see cases —has been in pandemic mode for more than a month, according to Emily Palmer of the Texas Department of State Health Services. The swine fl u pandemic all sounds very bad, but city offi cials are urging people to just use some common sense and they should be fi ne. Avoid crowds and close contact whenever possible. “A sneeze can propel the virus up to 10 feet,” City Health Offi cer Dr. Ray Luna said. “Anyone within range could breathe that virus in.”
Here are some simple precautions everyone should take:
1. Wash your hands often. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand cleaner.
2. If you have to sneeze or cough try to do it in your upper sleeve or in the crook of your elbow to contain any germs. Use a tissue to cover your mouth and throw it away immediately. Don’t place a dirty tissue on a surface where germs could spread.
3. Contain germs by steering clear of others who are sick. If you do get sick, stay at home until you’re well again, so you don’t spread more germs.
4. Keep your hands away from your mouth, nose and eyes where germs can enter.
5. Don’t eat, drink or smoke after others.