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Greencastle to get word out on swine flu

September 10, 2009|By KATE S. ALEXANDER

GREENCASTLE, Pa. -- With the number of H1N1 cases on the rise, officials in the Borough of Greencastle want to make certain that every resident is prepared should the virus, commonly known as swine flu, come to town.

Starting in late September, volunteers will go door to door distributing a pamphlet detailing prevention, preparation and proper action for dealing with the virus.

Emergency Management Coordinator Ben Thomas started the initiative this week when he approached borough council for its support.

Not every borough household has access to daily media or Internet resources on H1N1, Thomas said.

Even with an overwhelming amount of information available, Thomas said he fears that some borough residents could still be in the dark about the virus.

"The best way to contact every individual is to put a pamphlet in their hands," he said.

Because swine flu is rapidly spread by an infected person, it is in the borough's best interest to educate its citizens about preventative and preparation of the virus, he told the council.

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Describing the pamphlet as "quick read," Thomas said he plans to compile key information about H1N1 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

Concerned that infected residents would contact 911 or flood the emergency room taking ambulances out of service and potentially spreading the disease further, Thomas encouraged the council to support the initiative.

"This will be very brief, something you could read in two or three minutes," he said. "The big deal is isolation. To get better the (swine) flu has to run its course so the best thing you can do is stay isolated to prevent spreading it to family and friends."

Along with a concise description of the disease, he said the pamphlet will include information for preparing your home should you be isolated for days.

The borough council lent its support to the project Tuesday evening, agreeing to purchase 2,000 sheets of paper for the pamphlets. Printing has been donated by local printer Dice Imaging, Thomas said.

By the next day, Thomas started to solicit volunteers to take the one page pamphlet door-to-door.

With enough volunteers, he said, every home can have a copy the same day.

Councilman Harry Foley asked Thomas if the initiative would also reach out to borough businesses.

Thomas said his goal is produce the information on posters for any interested businesses to post.

Anyone interested in volunteering to distribute the pamphlets can contact the borough at 717-597-7143.

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For more information on H1N1, contact:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/

800-232-4636.

Pennsylvania Department of Health

www.dsf.health.state.pa.us

877-724-3258

Franklin County

www.co.franklin.pa.us

717-264-4125

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