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Thursday, July 2, 2009

Swine Flu Victims Recovering

All Three Potter County H1N1 Flu Victims Recovering

Potter County Today
Each of the three Potter County victims of influenza A/H1N1 is recovering without complications. Lonnie Bunch, safety officer at Charles Cole Memorial Hospital, reported that each of the three patients was treated at Cole and none was admitted.

Cases were treated on June 16, 23 and 26. Patients were a 49-year-old male, a 39-year-old female and the latter’s 15-year-old daughter. Bunch also reported that McKean County has its first case of A/H1N1, while there are no cases reported in Cameron or Tioga counties.

The flu has been spreading rapidly since early June. As of Wednesday (July 1), there were 1,594 confirmed and 64 probable cases of illness due to the virus in more than 40 of the state’s 67 counties. That’s more than a fivefold increase since Memorial Day. In Pennsylvania, at least two dozen victims have been hospitalized and five have died.

Potter County Department of Emergency Services and Cole Hospital are coordinating their activities with the Pa. Health Department. Officials emphasize that there is no reason to panic. “We encourage people to remain calm and take time to learn about this virus, especially what you should do if you have symptoms,” said John Hetrick, director, Potter County Department of Emergency Services.

Symptoms of the illness are similar to the seasonal flu and include fever, lethargy, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills, lack of appetite, and coughing. Those who exhibit these symptoms should get medical attention.

There is currently no vaccine available to protect against the virus — latest estimates are that one will not be available until at least October — but the flu can be treated with certain antiviral drugs if it’s caught in the first 48 hours. Victims are advised to isolate themselves if they contract the flu because it is contagious. Steps people can take to avoid spreading the H1N1 flu include:

  • stay home if sick;
  • cough/sneeze into a tissue and rewash hands;
  • wash hands frequently with warm soap/water or use an antibacterial gel;
  • drink plenty of fluids;
  • eat a balanced diet;
  • avoid physical contact (handshaking, etc.);
  • get plenty of rest and exercise.

Cole Hospital has established an informational “hotline” about local conditions/issues that can be reached by dialing 260-5279. The Health Department website is regularly updated, available at www.health.state.pa.us. The site includes a map and chart showing a county-by-county breakdown of H1N1 cases.

2 comments :

Anonymous said...

Did they get the flu while traveling?

Anonymous said...

I believe the two females may have been at Darien Lake in the days preceding the outbreak....