Created on Tuesday, 28 April 2009 15:14
Contact: Collette DuValle, 317-373-2391
Health Department Implementing Flu Response Plan
Marion County residents with questions regarding the Swine Flu can call the Marion County Health Department’s Swine Flu Helpline at (317) 221-3366. Health Department officials will answer calls from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. Health officials will be able to answer general questions in English and Spanish.
“Our residents should be reassured that we have plans and resources in place. These plans have been rehearsed and our Swine Flu Task Force is now implementing our response. This is a community health concern, and we all have a role to play,” said Dr. Virginia A. Caine, director, Marion County Health Department.
Dr. Caine is asking local residents to use the Flu Helpline for non-emergency questions to keep 911, the Mayor’s Action Center, 211 and other community resources from being inundated with calls best answered by the health department.
The symptoms of influenza in people are expected to be similar to the symptoms of regular human seasonal influenza and include fever, lethargy, lack of appetite and coughing. Some people with swine flu also have reported runny nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
“We encourage all employers to be vigilant and compassionate when dealing with employees who are ill. We need anyone who is ill to refrain from having contact with other individuals until they have been seen by a medical professional and told when they are healthy enough to return to work,” said Dr. Caine. “This is also true with our students,” she said.
Individuals who experience flu-like symptoms are encouraged to contact their health care provider immediately. Those who are ill should refrain from going to work or having contact with other individuals. Parents whose children are ill should keep them home and contact their health care provider.
Local health officials are in constant contact with the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Indianapolis and Marion County officials. The agencies are working together to provide the efficient sharing of critical health information and community resources related to Swine Flu.
The Marion County Health Department and Indiana State Department of Health remind the public to follow basic precautionary measures to prevent the spread of a cold, influenza, or any infectious disease, including:
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it. Cough or sneeze into your sleeve, rather than your hands, if a tissue is not available.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are also effective.
- Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.
For more information, contact the Marion County Health Department Swine Flu Helpline at (317) 221-3366, or http://www.mchd.com.