Swine flu case confirmed in Luling area

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By LPR Staff
Editor/POST-REGISTER

As national and international fear about last month’s outbreak of the Novel Virus H1N1 (“swine flu”) subsides, Caldwell County has been forced to deal with the dreaded disease head on. Caldwell County Emergency Management personnel announced Friday that a case of the virus had been confirmed in the Luling area.

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??Although this is the first [case], there may have been some screens not yet tested, and there may be more,” Emergency Management Coordinator Jim Parker said in a written statement on Friday. “Given the less than severe process we expected, there won’t be any changes in community activities or services at this point.”

Parker said the patient, who he said is a minor, is at home and “doing fine.” As of Monday morning, Parker said there had been no school closures in the Luling area, and he reiterated none were expected.

“This is just to make sure we are aware the swine flu is officially in our county now, and to keep people home if they have [symptoms],” Parker said. “[Symptoms include] a cough, sore throat and fever above 100 degrees. If the symptoms become severe, you should see your doctor as soon as possible.”

Parker suggested on Monday the swine flu is very similar to the “regular” flu, in both symptoms and treatment. He said there was no reason for the population of Caldwell County to panic, instead to simply be aware of symptoms that feel like a standard flu.

Parker said Caldwell County is well-prepared in the event the swine flu should spread in the same manner it has in other areas. He referenced an October vaccination drill performed by the Caldwell County Office of Emergency Management and Texas State Health Services in which participants were delivered flu vaccines in a “drive-thru” shot clinic.

“This plan was assessed, planned and performed as an actual drill of what is referred to as ‘Strategic National Stockpile Response,’” Parker said. “In other words, it means getting masses of people vaccinated or medicated within the first 72 hours of a known exposure.”
Parker said during the drill, participants were vaccinated at a rate of less than one minute per individual.

However, Parker also stressed the need for individual preparation and personal responsibility in staving off an outbreak of the swine flu, should such precautions become necessary.

“Consider this: the Federal, state and local governments can only intervene to a certain extent,” he said. “It is the responsibility of each of us to become aware and prepare for sustaining self-existence if we are called to do so.”

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