How Serious Is Swine Flu?

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I subscribe to the Westchester County Community Emergency Notification System (CENS) and just received this notification:

With the outbreak of swine flu in the region it is important that residents be aware of what Westchester County government is doing to contain the spread of this illness and what you can do to assist us.

As of today, there are no confirmed cases in Westchester. The county Department of Health and Department of Emergency Services are monitoring the spread of the disease and are in daily communications with our hospitals, the state Health Department and with our counterparts in New York City and neighboring counties. County Executive Andy Spano is asking the public not to panic, but to take common sense precautions.

If you develop flu-like symptoms with a fever of 101.4 you should stay home from work. Other symptoms are a runny nose, congestion, sore throat and/or a cough.

  • Because this disease can be spread easily, you should avoid close contact with others. Call your doctor.
  • Cover your mouth when you cough and wash your hands with soap and water or clean them with an alcohol-based sanitizer.
  • Drink lots of clear fluids, such as water, broth or sports drinks.
  • Parent should have infants evaluated by their pediatrician.

Seek emergency medical care only if you:

  • Have difficulty breathing or chest pain.
  • Are vomiting and unable to keep liquids down.

For more information, visit or call the state Health Department 24-hour hotline at 1-800-808-1987.

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Published by Max Kalehoff

Father, sailor and marketing executive.

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