Swine flu: Separating fact from fiction

By: Chris Thomas Email
By: Chris Thomas Email

News 12 First at Five, April 27, 2009

AUGUSTA, Ga.---Swine Flu is spreading faster than word of mouth. News 12 separates fact from fiction.

We asked a few Augustans if they'd heard about swine flu.

"I haven't heard about it," said Carter Welsh.

"What is that?" questioned Samantha Harrod.

It's disappointing news for the people at the Richmond County Emergency Preparedness office. They are preparing for the worst as the swine flu is being reported in at least 5 states.

"We need to get everybody's attention," said Jerry Harden, director of the preparedness center. "This is one mutation away from being something really serious."

Even with vaccines, the flu virus kills about 36,000 people a year. The problem is that there is no vaccine for the swine flu. There is a common misconception that if you eat pork you can get the virus. That is not true. The best way to avoid getting the virus is to wash your hands, cover your cough or sneeze, and encourage others to stay home if they are sick.

"It's back to the basics," said Harden. "It is back to things our parents and grandparents taught us."

He even suggests beefing up your refrigerator.

"I have a two-week supply at my house," said Harden. "If I had to I could stay at my house for two weeks and not have to worry about going to the grocery store."

"You're saying we need to start stocking up food?" we asked.

"I think so," said Harden. "The potential is there for things to not go well."

The MCG Hospital is kicking into high gear. The pandemic flu planning committee is expected to meet Tuesday to discuss possible testing.

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