San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

June 23rd, 2009
H1N1 being treated at Juvenile Center, Wimberley camp

STAFF REPORT

The Hays County Personal Health Department is reporting confirmed and suspected H1N1 flu cases at the Hays County Juvenile Center and at a Wimberley area camp as well as an increase in flu-like symptoms generally.

Health department officials responded Friday night to  Camp Young Judaea, a Jewish childrens’ camp on Ranch Road 12 in Woodcreek, to collect specimens from campers who were ill. Officials took samples from five campers and sent the specimens to the Scott & White Hospital lab in Temple for testing. Following an initial positive result Saturday for Influenza A, the lab on Sunday confirmed the Novel Influenza A (H1N1 Virus).

“We began treatment Saturday of those five campers and 40 others who exhibited flu symptoms with Tamiflu, one of the drugs of choice to treat flu-like symptoms and lessen the severity and duration of the illness,” Hays County Personal Health Department Director Priscilla Hargraves said. “We are also treating other campers and staff at that site as a precaution with prophylactic doses of Tamiflu as prescribed by CDC guidelines for the Novel H1N1 virus, and many of those who had symptoms are already symptom-free.”

Staff at the Hays County Juvenile Detention Center on Clovis Barker Road in San Marcos on Tuesday also reported residents with flu-like symptoms, and treatment and monitoring has begun there as well.

“It is important to remember that we all still need to take steps to mitigate the spread and severity of this flu,” Hargraves said. “We urge all residents to continue to practice good hygiene. If you have symptoms, avoid other people until 24 hours after you are symptom-free. Cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing, properly discard used tissues and wash your hands frequently — these are some of the best ways to prevent any type of flu. Sick individuals should stay at home, avoid contact with others and follow the advice of their health care provider.”

The health department is working closely with local, regional and state health authorities to monitor and respond to the situation.

Additional information about H1N1 is available at the Texas Department of State Health Services Web site at http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/swineflu/default.shtm and the CDC at http://cdc.gov/h1n1flu/.

— FROM HAYS COUNTY/LAUREEN CHERNOW

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