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Probable case of swine flu found in Franklin Co.

May 05, 2009|From staff reports

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. -- Franklin County is the first county in the Tri-State area to have a probable case of swine flu.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health confirmed Tuesday that 15 probable cases are being investigated in the state, including one in Franklin County and one in York County.

Jessica Walter, director of public relations for Summit Health, which owns Chambersburg (Pa.) and Waynesboro (Pa.) hospitals, said she will release information about the case Wednesday morning.

In addition to the hospitals, Summit Health provides health care through several physicians' offices and clinics in Franklin County.

Franklin County's interim director of emergency services said she's in contact daily with medical professionals and Pennsylvania Department of Health representatives to monitor the situation.

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"We are being well informed. Really, this is a health emergency being driven from the top, which is the health department," Susan Dutko said.

Dutko said she learned Monday that someone was being held in isolation with a probable case of swine flu.

"We are not going to change any of what we're doing currently," Dutko said.

She recommends several state and federal Web sites, like www.health.state.pa.us, for prevention tips in English and Spanish. The advice is changing as more information becomes available.

"For instance, new guidelines came out (Tuesday) saying schools shouldn't close if there's a case in the school," Dutko said.

Human cases of 2009 Novel Influenza A (H1N1) virus infection have been identified in the United States and internationally. Pennsylvania currently has one confirmed case in Montgomery County outside Philadelphia.

Federal health officials have determined that this 2009 Novel Influenza A (H1N1) virus is contagious, but it is not known how easily the virus spreads between people.

The symptoms of 2009 Novel Influenza A (H1N1) flu in people are similar to the symptoms of regular human flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people have reported diarrhea and vomiting.

The health department recommends the following to help prevent people from getting the flu:

o Wash your hands.

o Avoid touching surfaces that might be contaminated with the flu virus.

o Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

o Try to stay in good general health.

o Get plenty of sleep.

o Be physically active.

o Manage your stress.

o Drink plenty of fluids.

o Eat nutritious food.

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