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SENATOR SHAPLEIGH REACTS TO SWINE FLU OUTBREAKS, URGES EL PASOANS TO TAKE HEALTH PRECAUTIONS
April 28, 2009

"We ask El Pasoans to just use common sense; wash your hands, cover your cough and avoid people who have flu symptoms."

Written by Senator Eliot Shapleigh, www.shapleigh.org

EL PASO - Today, Senator Shapleigh urges El Pasoans to take appropriate health precautions in the wake of recent confirmed cases of swine flu in Texas.

Today, Dr. David Lakey, head of the Department of State Health Services, told the Texas House Committee on Public Health that his department is treating the swine flu as a pandemic. This follows the World Health Organization already raising its severity status for the swine flu from three to four on their six-point pandemic scale.

The virus has claimed more than 140 lives in Mexico. There have been at least six confirmed cases of swine flu in Texas.

Because of these cases, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano have urged Americans to avoid non-essential travel to Mexico. At the U.S./Mexico border, customs officials will conduct passive screening of travelers and are prepared to isolate those who show signs of infection and are deemed necessary to refer to the CDC.

To keep yourself healthy, the CDC recommends:

·         covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and throw the tissue in the trash after you use it;

·         washing  your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hands cleaners, especially after you cough or sneeze;

·         avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth; and

·         avoiding close contact with sick people.

If you get sick, the CDC recommends staying home from work or school and limiting contact with others.

"We ask El Pasoans to just use common sense; wash your hands, cover your cough and avoid people who have flu symptoms," Senator Shapleigh said. "For information on swine flu in Texas, here is the hotline number:"

Texas' flu hotline is available daily from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. at 1-888-777-5320.

 

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