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Swine Flu no real threat for Georgians at this time

District 4 Public Health officials are on the alert for swine flu in central Georgia. Health officials note that no confirmed human cases of swine flu (H1N1) have been identified in Georgia or in District 4, which include the counties of Pike, Lamar, Meriwether, Spalding, Upson, Butts, Carroll, Coweta, Fayette, Heard, Henry and Troup. But District 4 is initiating “active surveillance” for swine flu in conjunction with the District Health Emergency Assessment and Response Team and County Health Emergency Assessment Response Teams. Officials say they have pandemic influenza plans in place and are prepared to respond. District 4 Public Health will include daily updates on www.district4health.org. And the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will include regular updates on http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu The CDC has determined that the swine flu H1N1 virus is contagious and spreading from human to human, but it is unknown how easily the virus spreads between people. Human cases of swine flu have been reported in California, Texas, Kansas, New York, Michigan and Ohio, as well as in other nations. The symptoms of swine flu in humans are similar to the symptoms of regular flu and include fever, cough, sore throat, body ache, headaches, chills, fatigue, vomiting and diarrhea. But severe illnesses such as pneumonia and respiratory failure and even deaths have been reported with swine flu infection in people. Like seasonal flu, swine flu can worsen underlying chronic medical conditions. There is no vaccine available right now to protect against swine flu. But there are everyday actions that can help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses like influenza. These include covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing and then throwing the tissue in the trash; washing hands often with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand cleaners; and trying to avoid close contact with sick people.

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