COMANCHE COUNTY, Okla. - Comanche County Health Department Administrative Director Keith Reed confirmed Tuesday a case of 2009 novel H1N1 influenza (swine flu) in Comanche County.
"The patient is a 6-year-old male child who did not require hospitalization," Reed said. "Comanche County residents should not be alarmed. We have been monitoring this case to limit exposure to others. We have also been interviewing individuals who have been in contact with the patient to determine if they should be tested."
The symptoms of swine flu are similar to seasonal influenza and include fever greater than 100 degrees, body aches, coughing, sore throat, respiratory congestion, and in some cases, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting.
"The virus is spread person-to-person, not by eating pork or pork products,"
Reed said. "There is no vaccine to prevent this new flu and the current flu vaccine used to prevent seasonal influenza will not provide protection against this new flu strain."
Comanche County residents who experience flu-like symptoms should contact their physician. Some antiviral drugs can treat persons at high risk of
complications from the disease.
Health officials caution that aspirin should not be given to children or teenagers who have flu-like symptoms, particularly fever. Instead, use medications such as acetaminophen to relieve fever and muscle aches associated with the flu.
The use of aspirin in children has been associated with Reye's syndrome, a potentially fatal disease in children, causing harmful effects to many organs, including the brain and liver.
The Comanche County Health Department reminds the public to continue to practice these recommendations to prevent the spread of influenza:
- Wash hands often to protect yourself from germs.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth; germs are often spread when a person touches a contaminated object and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, or "sneeze in your sleeve."
- If you are sick, stay home from work, school, church, and running errands. You will help prevent others from catching your illness.
Persons with questions about swine flu may call the Comanche County
Health Department at (580) 248-5890.