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Swine Flu Preparations Underway

April 27th, 2009 by Mike Vasilinda

At least two Floridians have been tested for Swine Flu and both were negative for the disease that has been deadly south of the border. 40 cases have been identified in 5 states. Florida is not among them, but as Mike Vasilinda tells us, health officials here believe they are ready.

Health officials have confirmed that two Floridians have been tested for Swine Flu and both were negative. Governor Charlie Crist got the first of what will be daily briefings. He says he is prepared to respond with an executive order if necessary.

Whats on my mind is if we do have a case that gets reported, that we have the necessary resources to handle that, Crist said. That we can have assistance from our Federal partners. The executive order initially would have that.

Florida has had a plan to deal with a flu epidemic since 2004. Stage 1 is heightened surveillance.

Instructions are basic. Wash your hands frequently, cover your mouth when you cough, drink plenty of water and stay home if you are sick.

If symptoms worsen, see a doctor.

The CDC and the Department of Health have asked us to do screening on patients with flu-like symptoms, Freda Lyon, an RN at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital said.

Florida Surgeon General Ana Viamonte Ros says hospitals across the state will soon have anti-viral medications being released by the Centers for Disease Control.

That is medication that you give to someone who has already been infected, in order to minimize, either the length of the duration of the disease or the severity of the disease, Viamonte Ros said. There is no vaccine.

The Surgeon General says she is encouraged that symptoms in the US appear milder than those being seen in other countries, but health officials are not ruling out the possibilities that some could die.

Health officials say it could take months to develop a vaccine for swine flu.

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