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Vail hospital ready for flu

Vail Daily staff report
newsroom@vaildaily.com
Vail, CO Colorado

VAIL, Colorado ” The Vail Valley Medical Center in Vail, Colorado says it has activated it “Emerging Infectious Disease” plans in case a flu outbreak spreads to Eagle County.

The hospital also says it is collaborating with local and state officials to educate people on prevention, symptoms and treatment of this strain of influenza.

“While we don’t have any identified cases of swine flu in Eagle County right now, it is our job to prepare for an outbreak,” says nurse epidemiologist Heather Gilmartin. “All of the departments at VVMC have reviewed their emergency plans and have met to discuss the courses of action should this become a problem in the communities that we serve.

“We are also working with local and state organizations to educate and inform people on how to avoid swine flu and what to do if you think you may have it.” Gilmartin said.

The hospital is working with the Eagle County Public Health Department, Colorado Department of Public Health, Eagle County Public Information Officers and Eagle County School District.

“The swine flu is acting just like seasonal flu and is passed from person to person. It is not spread by pigs or by eating pork,” say Eagle County Epidemiologist Becky Larson.

Gilmartin and Larson say anyone with mild flu-like symptoms should stay home from work and children and adolescents with a fever should not go to day care or school until they are better.

Symptoms of swine flu are similar to those of seasonal influenza including: fever of 100 degree, sore throat, cough, stuffy nose, chills, headache, body aches and fatigue. In some cases people have reported diarrhea and vomiting.

Precautions in preventing infection include washing your hands regularly, covering sneezes and coughs and avoiding others with respiratory illness.

“We ask that people who think that they are experiencing flu symptoms notify their health care providers by phone before seeking care,” says Gilmartin.

For more information on swine flu visit http://www.cdphe.state.co.us or call CO-Help Line at 1-877-462-2911. Additional information can also be found at the Center for Disease Control Web site http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu .


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