News 12 This Morning, May 4, 2009
AUGUSTA, Ga. --- Being ready for the unexpected.
"It's nothing to take lightly. The swine flu can take you out. And everybody needs to be careful about it," Edward Batey said.
That's why he wipes off his shopping cart at the grocery store, and watches out for people coughing around him.
"I'm going to do what I can and be prepared for my children, but I'm not going to panic," Jacquetta Perdue said.
Several organizations are staying busy making sure Richmond County is ready. The American Red Cross says they're monitoring the swine flu outbreak and are in close contact with federal and state officials, and the CDC.
"Make sure that you have everything that you need. Just to be prepared. We're asking people not to panic, but just to be prepared for all of this," American Red Cross of Augusta, Sarah Townsend said.
She says now is the time to make a plan. The Red Cross says they recommend storing a two-week supply of food, water, and household necessities. So why stock up? The Red Cross says having these items at home would reduce going out if the swine flu became more widespread.
"Well what we're seeing here now is a novel virus. We're seeing a virus that we've never seen before, and that has people pushing the panic button," Richmond County Health Department, Emmitt Walker said.
The Richmond County Health Department says they're working with local hospitals, private practices and the school system, monitoring any type of influenzas.
The Health Department says 36,000 people die every year from seasonal flu, so one infected person does not mean we go into crisis mode.