HERE’S A FEW THOUGHTS ABOUT THE CURRENT FLU SITUATION FROM GEORGE SEDLACEK WITH THE MARQUETTE COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT.

MCHD REPRESENTATIVE GEORGE SEDLACEK.

MCHD REPRESENTATIVE GEORGE SEDLACEK.

The following comments come from this morning’s guest George Sedlacek:

1.  It’s too early to tell just how dangerous this new flu virus will be.  It hasn’t even been classified as a pandemic yet.  It has the potential to die out quickly like the 2003 SARS epidemic, be a mild pandemic such as the 1968 Hong Kong Flu pandemic, or be a major killer like the 1918-1920 pandemic.  Public Health is very concerned and are activating their emergency preparedness plans. (This work is largely behind the scenes and includes active surveillance.)  The old adage, It’s better to be safe than sorry applies to this situation.

2.  The early surveillance that is taking place by public health and the medical community is very important for a couple of reasons.  To keep the spread of the virus to a minimum, you have to catch it early. The virus needs people to spread it!  Now is the time we alert our community partners on what to do when (or if) the virus appears in our community. The public themselves play the major role!  Stay home when sick. Cover coughs and wash hands!  Social distancing also helps (stay 6 feet away if possible) when the virus is in the community.

3.  We will be following the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control.  They have guidelines for the medical community, general public, and the community.  We are encouraging the public to visit the site.  www.cdc.gov/swineflu

4.  Don’t spread rumors!  Every illness is not swine flu.  The guidelines for our community still is that if you become sick and have not been in Mexico or one of the states in which illness has occurred in the past seven days, the illness is not swine flu.  This guidance may change as more locations in the US “catch” this flu.