Swine flu hits Montana
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Tim Leeds Havre Daily News [email protected]
The first case of swine flu has been confirmed in Montana, and local health officials are telling residents to use the same care and treatment they would if hit by any case of influenza. “We knew this was going to happen. It was just a matter of time ,” Hill County Sanitarian Clay Vincent said this morning. “The biggest thing is, sooner or later, it's going to hit the Hi-Line up here, and it's not much different than the seasonal influenza that comes through.” Vincent said the important thing is for people to do their best to keep the illness and any illnesses from spreading. “Cover your cough, wash your hands and stay home if you're sick so it doesn't affect more people,” he said. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Monday that the first confirmed case of the new strain of influenza, known as influenza A (H1N1) health organizations are trying to Avoid using the term swine flu was confirmed in an adult man from Yellowstone County. Riverstone Health, Yellowstone County's public health organizationand the state Department of Public Health and Human Services reported Friday that the case was probably swine flu. The man did not require hospitalization, CDC reported. Vincent said people who think they have the flu should take the same action whether it is the H1N1 strain or the seasonal virus stay home, get plenty of rest and drink plenty of fluids and call their health care provider if they are concerned. He said people should avoid going to the clinic or their doctor's office if they think they have the flu. “They should call the clinic, call their health provider and find out what they should be doing,” he said. Dr. Steven Helgerson, Montana DPHHS state medical officer, made similar comments. “If you are concerned about your symptoms, contact your primary care doctor,” Helgerson said in a press release. “Every person can protect themselves from influenza and other illnesses by practicing good hygiene. Wash your hands thoroughly and try to limit contact with people who are sick. If you are sick, stay home.” The World Health Organization reported this morning that 30 countries had reported 5,251 cases of the H1N1 virus, including 70 deaths. The United States had reported 3,009 confirmed cases, including three deaths, in 45 states this morning. Vincent said people need to remember that cases of seasonal influenza are still being reported, and people need to take the same precautions and treatment regardless of which strain they may have. “We're not concerned that its H1N1 or seasonal, we just know it has to be treated in certain ways,” he said.