As state, federal and international health officials gear up to corral any further outbreaks of swine flu, Brownwood and Brown County health officials are reporting no cases of the disease locally.
“There is nothing in Brown County,” Jennifer McNiece, public health preparedness coordinator at the Brownwood-Brown County Health Department, said late Monday afternoon. “We don’t even have any suspect cases.”
After confirming at least 40 cases of swine flu in the United States, the Obama administration Monday began responding as though the disease could spread into a pandemic. Only one person with a confirmed case of swine flu has been hospitalized, and all have recovered. However, in Mexico, the location of the majority of cases worldwide, 149 deaths have been reported.
Three cases have been confirmed in Texas, all at the same San Antonio-area high school, the Associated Press said.
McNiece said she spent much of Monday afternoon on a conference call with state health officials discussing swine flu’s status. Efforts are being made to monitor the situation so any developments can be tracked.
“Our focus is on prevention,” McNiece said. “We plan to meet with our partners on Tuesday, and we should know more then.”
Meanwhile, McNiece said the best precautions Brown County residents can take are to cover mouths when coughing or sneezing and thoroughly washing hands as often as possible. Residents should also seek medical attention as soon as possible if they experience flu-like symptoms. People with symptoms should not go to work or school until they have been cleared by a physician.