H1N1 (Swine Flu)

H1N1 FLU UPDATE LEVY COUNTY

                                  
LEVY COUNTY, Fl – Levy County Health Department continues to receive shipments of the H1N1 (Swine) Flu vaccine.  During the period when vaccine is in limited supply, Levy County Health Department is following vaccination recommendations made by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). The ACIP recommends that vaccination efforts initially focus on 5 target groups:
• Pregnant women
• People who live with or care for children younger than 6 months of age
• Healthcare and emergency medical services personnel
• Persons between the ages of 6 months and 24 years
• People ages 25 through 64 years who are at higher risk for complications because of chronic health disorders or compromised immune systems (due to medical therapy or disease)
 
 People in the target groups should not delay getting the vaccine. The health department is currently offering appointment based evening clinics, from 5-7 pm at the health department in Bronson, for people in the target groups. To schedule an appointment to receive the vaccine, call the Levy County Health Department at 486-5300 extension 261.
 
 The H1N1 vaccine is FREE and VOLUNTARY.  Levy County Health Department expects to include the general public when more vaccine becomes available.
 
Healthcare workers and first responders have been vaccinated. The health department is coordinating delivery of vaccine to local medical providers to give to patients in the target groups. We are in the process of providing H1N1 (Swine) Flu vaccine to the daycare and PreK population. Additionally, we have sent out consents to all elementary, middle and high school students in anticipation of administering the vaccine to them.
 

From the Sept. 16, 2009 Newscaster by Sally Price
 
   A concerned parent called the Newscaster and said they heard there were several cases of Swine Flu (H1N1) at Yankeetown School (YTS). Checking with Patty Thompson, YTS Health Aid, I was told there are rumors but no confirmed cases of Swine Flu confirmed at YTS and she would know because that is her job. Patty said as a precaution she does have masks available for anyone who feels the need for one.  Patty said I would need to contact the Levy County School Board (LCSB).
   I spoke to the LCSB Director of Adminstration Jeff Edison who said there is Swine Flu in all communities in Levy County but had no verification of the Swine Flu in any particular schools. Jeff said that the health dept. did a presentation of facts with the LCSB of universal precautions so the schools could monitor symptoms. 
   I was told to call the Levy County Health Department (LCHD).  Barbara Locke,  Administrator of LCHD replied, “In answer to your question, the school has sent home 10 students with Influenza like illness. We have not had any positive tests for Swine Flu reported to us for students in Yankeetown. This does not mean there haven’t been any,  just that none have been reported to us.” 
   I said most parents would take their children to Seven Rivers  Hospital or a Citrus County doctor, which would report to the Citrus County Health Department (CCHD). 
    Judy Tear, Public Relations with the CCHD said that the health department had been instructed by the Center For Disease Control (CDC) not to test for Swine Flu (H1N1) but to just treat patients if they had symptoms that appeared consistent with Swine Flu.  CCHD website said that as of July 24, 2009 the CDC stopped reporting the number of confirmed and probable cases.  Physicians were to do diagnosis based on signs and symptoms. Judy said as of right now the only people tested are those that are actually hospitalized. 
    I again called Barbara Locke back at the LCHD in Bronson. I asked if it was true about not testing for Swine Flu unless you are hospitalized. Barbara said yes it is true but some doctors might test on their own if they wanted. She said Bronson would not test any either according to the CDC except that the LCHD is a Surveillance Test Sight and their clinic does test the first 5 people who come in with influenza like symptoms.  After the first 5 each day they do not test any more that day.
   Locke also said there are many different strains of the regular flu folks get yearly shots for. Each year it is determined which strain might be the most prevalent and circulating so the vaccine is prepared for that strain. The previous year’s vaccine can’t be used again. I counted over 200 strains on the internet.
   My granddaughter  at age 4 months was given a new vaccine called Prevnar (PCV7) which is for Pneumococcal viruses which Prevnar only covered 7 of 5500 strains. We were told if she had the vaccine she would not have ear infections. After the vaccine, she started having ear infections and would every time have a full blown turn blue quit breathing seizure. You know my opinion of vaccines and flu shots.  
My question is.”HOW DO WE KNOW THE NUMBER OF CASES OF SWINE FLU AND HOW SEVERE IT IS IF THE CENTER FOR DISEASE CONTROL SAYS NO TEST UNLESS THE PEOPLE ARE HOSPITALIZED?  WHERE DO THE NUMBERS COME FROM IF NO TESTING IS DONE OF THE GENERAL SICK PUBLIC? HOW WOULD WE KNOW WHEN WE REACH A PANDEMIC..(BASED ON SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS?). SOUNDS LIKE A LINE TO ME I DON’T BUY.

A two-shot series of Swine Flu (H1N1) vaccine will be available around mid-November, according to Inverness B&W Rexall owner/pharmacist Ken Heimann, who says that hand Washing, proper diet and adequate sleep will help the immune system resist airborne cold and flu viruses, which are spread mainly by droplets in the air from an infected person coughing or sneezing, or from a a person touching an object or surface that an infected person has touched after coughing or sneezing. Symptoms of swine flu include cough, fever, sore throat, body aches, chills and fatigue – and sometimes vomiting and diarrhea. Those at highest risk of contracting viruses are the very young and elderly, and people who come into contact with many people.

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