Precautionary swine flu planning continues in Eagle County |

Precautionary swine flu planning continues in Eagle County

Daily Staff Report
Eagle County, CO Colorado

EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado ” County health officials are making sure they know exactly what to do if swine flu were ever to make its way to Eagle County.

There are no confirmed cases of the disease in Colorado, but state health officials announced Wednesday evening they were awaiting the test results of five suspected cases of swine flu. The results should be available today.

Becky Larson, the county’s epidemiologist, has been on daily conference calls with state public health officials in order to plan how the agencies would work together if the disease were to spread to Colorado.

“Part of it is really getting messages out to start thinking about if we do need to close schools or if business have people out sick ” putting some plans in place,” Larson said. “This is a great opportunity as a community to really start having those discussions.”

The World Health Organization is paying close attention to what it warns is a potential swine flu pandemic. The organization raised its pandemic alert from level four to level five Wednesday, meaning it believes a global outbreak of the disease is imminent.

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The Eagle County School District is sending a letter home to parents to let them know how to keep an eye out for flu symptoms, said Matt Earle, a school district spokesman.

The letter gives parents information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site ” tips like washing hands often and identifying symptoms ” and advises parents to keep children home if they’re showing flu symptoms.

Earle said the district’s school nurses are also keeping an eye out for sick students, but the district doesn’t want to alarm anyone since there’s no evidence that the swine flu has reached the county.

The best precautions to take at this point are still to wash your hands and stay home if you feel sick, Larson said.

“People need to keep themselves healthy,” she said. “There’s no reason for anyone to panic, but it’s time for people to start thinking about what could happen and how that would impact them.”

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