No GarCo cases of swine flu reported |

No GarCo cases of swine flu reported

John Colson
Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

Glenwood Springs, Colorado ” As of mid-day on Wednesday, there were no confirmed cases of swine flu in either Garfield County or the state of Colorado, although tests were being conducted in some potential cases, according to local health authorities.

Health officials around the U.S. and the world are bracing for what some fear could be a pandemic of swine flu, believed to have originated in Mexico in early April and to have spread to the U.S. and numerous other countries. More than 150 are believed to have died of the disease in Mexico, and one U.S. death ” a 23-month old infant ” was reported in Texas this week.

The Associated Press news agency reported on Wednesday that hundreds of students at a New York school had fallen ill after returning from a school trip to Cancun, and President Barack Obama reportedly has asked Congress for $1.5 billion in emergency funds to fight the disease.

In Garfield County the Public Health Agency continues to prepare for the anticipated appearance of the disease locally.

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According to a statement from the agency, Director of Public Health Mary Meisner has taken the lead role, acting as “incident commander” under the accepted national model for dealing with emergencies.

The agency has been conducting briefings with area hospitals, clinics, schools and pharmacies, “evaluating our actions and responses,” according to the statement, which came from Jim Rada, normally the environmental health manager but currently acting as the public information officer for Meisner.

In the meantime, health officials are cautioning the public to avoid contact with those who already are ill, and to stay home if symptoms develop. Frequent hand-washing, and covering the mouth and nose with a sleeve or tissue when coughing or sneezing, are believed to help prevent the spread of disease.

Health officials also are advising anyone who has traveled recently to Mexico or to other parts of the U.S., and who is experiencing flu-like symptoms of fever, body aches, sore throat, nausea or diarrhea, to stay at home and avoid contact with others as long as the symptoms remain mild.

If symptoms worsen, or if other warning signs appear, such as rapid breathing or difficulty breathing and sudden dizziness or confusion, authorities advise seeking medical treatment.

Additional information is available by checking the website of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, at or the website of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, at or calling 1-877-462-2911.

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