Central Valley Swine Flu 101

April 28, 2009 9:03:03 PM PDT
Locally doctors are warning people to be cautious when it comes to the swine flu but not overreact.This is Mariana Torres's first visit to downtown Fresno. Even though there are no confirmed swine flu cases in Fresno County, this Lemoore resident is worried about being out in public, especially for her daughter. "What worries me is that if she gets sick, her defenses are lower and she can get the flu," said Torres.

Selma family physician Dr. Darrick Wells said, "Don't panic. If you look at the statistics the odds of you getting swine flu is exceedingly rare," he said.

Just over 70 cases have been reported in the U.S. Around 15 of those were in California. Dr. Wells said how the swine flu mutated into its current form is a mystery but not what it can do to people.

"It's a little bit more aggressive in causing illness but it's not anything that's any different than influenza viruses that are around," said Wells.

Pharmacist Shannon Wong handed out his last Tamiflu vaccination two days ago. Until his stock is replenished Wong is advising clients to wash hands routinely and apply antibacterial lotion with at least 62% alcohol.

Wong: "This has the alcohol base in here. It's gonna kill the virus, bacteria, all types of micro-organisms." Including the swine flu. Masks are also effective but Wong warns unless you have a high tech version you need to change the masks hourly.

"The over the counter ones I think are more porous," said Wong.

The Mexican government is asking its residents to refrain from traditional types of greetings such as handshakes and kissing on the cheeks. Doctors in the Valley said you don't have to go that far, just look out for people who appear sickly.

Health officials say if you are concerned at all to call your doctor.

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