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Schoolhouse Village Shoppes

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The Amazing Coudersport Ice Mine

The Amazing Coudersport Ice Mine

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Pandemic Panel To Meet; New Members Welcome

Nflushotsext meeting of the Potter County Pandemic Planning Committee will be held at 2 pm on Friday (Aug. 7) at the Charles Cole Memorial Hospital Wellness Center. The committee is working on a pandemic response team and seeking involvement and input from community organizations and businesses. Its work becomes more critical as public health experts forecast an increase in influenza H1N1 cases starting next month.

Volunteers are especially welcome on the committee from businesses, churches, emergency service organizations, schools, government, fuel suppliers, veterans, postal services, industries, senior citizen centers, news media, transportation services, contractors, food suppliers, Chambers of Commerce, banks, hotels/motels, and community organizations.

Those planning to attend Friday’s meeting or seeking more information should call Potter County Department of Emergency Services at 274-8900.

So far, most of those who have been the most adversely affected by H1N1 have had other health problems, such as asthma. The virus has caused an unusual number of serious illnesses in teens and young adults; seasonal flu usually is toughest on the elderly and very young children.

Three victims each have been identified in Potter and McKean counties. All have recovered without complications. As of Aug. 5, there were 1,934 confirmed and 71 probable cases of illness due to the virus in 51 of the state’s 67 counties. In Pennsylvania, at least 40 victims have been hospitalized and nine have died.

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. While there is currently no vaccine available, 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. Potter County Today

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