Officials say they have not identified any confirmed cases of swine flu in Hays County even as more schools close across the state and the number of cases nationally passes 100.
In Comal County directly to the south, everything from schools to daycare centers to churches are closed after the Center for Disease Control said a Freiheit Elementary and a New Braunfels High School student have contracted H1N1 influenza A as it is now being called. Comal officials said two other people likely have the virus but test results have not been returned. All four are recovering at home.
But things here are pretty much normal. Central Texas Medical Center said in a statement released on Thursday that its emergency department had seen a marked increase in patients complaining of flu-like symptoms but that none had passed positive for the flu.
“The true flu indicator is fever and body aches. If folks are not experiencing ongoing fever, body aches, nausea or other symptoms commonly seen with the flu, there is no need to come to the ED,” said CTMC spokesperson Clay DeStefano.
Shortly after the statement was sent out, the hospital sent out an e-mail asking to recall the release. Nevertheless, Mayor Susan Narvaiz and spokespersons for Hays County and Texas State University told the Mercury they knew of no H1N1 here.
“We continue to monitor the situation via twice-daily briefings including our clinical and administrative staff and the Austin-based Capital Area Trauma Regional Advisory Council,” DeStefano said in the statement.
In the meantime, hospital essential staff are on notice that they may be activated should the situation worsen. Additional supplies, including gloves, masks, lab test-kits and appropriate pharmaceuticals have been ordered. The hospital is also using its internal website to aid staff challenged by area school and daycare center closings in networking with their co-workers to work out solutions.
San Marcos and Hays school district officials urge residents to follow common sense precautions to avoid infections including washing hands. Neither district has said it intends to close.
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