In response to the recent outbreak of Swine Influenza, The Payne County Health Department is working very closely with area hospitals, medical providers, emergency responders, local school districts and universities to develop a coordinated response system. While there are no confirmed cases of Swine Influenza in Oklahoma, the local public health response team is busy preparing in the event cases do emerge in Oklahoma.
The group has taken the following actions in response the recent outbreak of Swine Flu.
• Ensure all area hospitals, physician offices and medical clinics have up-to-date Swine Flu Testing and Treatment Guidelines as directed by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
• Ensure availability of testing materials and supplies.
• Distribute information to local school districts and daycares regarding Swine Influenza Signs and Symptoms.
• Develop local reporting system of potential cases.
• Distribute educational materials to the public on how to protect yourself against the flu.
At this time the actions the general public can take to protect themselves from potential exposure to any flu-like illness includes:
• Wash hands often to protect yourself from germs.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth; germs are often spread when a person touches a contaminated object and then touches his or her eyes, nose or mouth.
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• If you are sick, stay home from work, school, and running errands. You will help prevent others from catching your illness.
• Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
• Contact your physician if you are experiencing flu-like symptoms. Some antiviral drugs may be used to treat persons who become ill with swine influenza.
The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) issues general information and guidance on the status of the Swine Influenza outbreak in Oklahoma. A phone bank has been set up for persons with questions about swine flu. The toll free number is 1-866-278-7134. Additional information on swine influenza is available by visiting the OSDH web site at www.health.ok.gov and the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at www.cdc.gov/swineflu or by calling your local county health department at (405) 372-8200 or (918) 225-3377.