H1N1 update: Grand County prepares for second outbreak this fall | SkyHiNews.com

H1N1 update: Grand County prepares for second outbreak this fall

The H1N1 virus continues to spread with 5,469 confirmed cases in 48 states, and 56 cases in Colorado as of May 19. So far, no H1N1 cases have been found in Grand County.

Though H1N1 is currently mild, the CDC and health care providers around the country worry the virus could hit hard during the fall flu season. Preparing for pandemic flu since 2006, Grand County Public Health took advantage of the H1N1 outbreak to test its procedures. “As soon as we got the alert about H1N1, we began following our procedures and everything worked like clockwork,” said Gail Van Bockern, childcare nurse consultant for Grand County Public Health.

The department has been busy answering questions from the public, talking to school administrators, and meeting with emergency responders and medical personnel. The county has received anti-viral medication from the Strategic National Stockpile.

Van Bockern encourages people to discuss what they would do if a pandemic should strike.

“At work, people should talk about what they would do, and how they would handle school closures and care for family members,” Van Bockern said. “People need to be prepared individually with food, water and anything they would need.”

This spring, Colorado is seeing an unusually high amount of flu ” two seasonal flu cases for every H1N1. Individuals who experience influenza symptoms should stay home for seven days after onset of symptoms or at least 24 hours after symptoms have resolved, whichever is longer. Your best defense is covering your cough and washing your hands.

For more information on H1N1, contact Grand County Public Health at 970-725-3288, or CO help at 1-877-462-2911, or visit http://www.co.grand.co.us.