Acting Medical Officer of Health Dr. Jim Chirico says stopping the spread of the Swine Flu is in the public's hands literally.
With the World Health Organisation raising the Flu Pandemic threat to Level 5 the North Bay Parry Sound Health Unit is not taking any chances and wants the public to take the necessary precautions.
So far North Bay has been fortunate that there have be no reported cases, no cases under review or confirmed cases; however, Acting Medical Officer of Health Dr. Jim Chirico says this virus is very fluid and changes very quickly. He says an estimated 60,000 people will travel back and forth from Canada and Mexico a month and that could spur on secondary infections.
“I suspect it is going to get to the point where it won’t be relevant whether or not you travelled to Mexico,” Chirico said.
“We do expect that there are going to be more secondary cases, and we do anticipate that it likely will get worse before it gets better.”
During a media conference Wednesday Chirico said the health unit is working closely with their provincial and federal counterparts to contain the spread of the virus. He says they have consulted with the city’s emergency preparedness partners and just like with the E-coli outbreak the health unit has a protocol and they are ready.
“Are we alarmists by being prepared … not at all,” he tells the media.
“If nothing occurs it was a great practise run.”
Chirico says the prevention of the spread of the virus is literally in the public’s hands and is appealing to everyone to be conscientiousness and was their hands with soap and hot water.
“Sneeze and cough in your sleeve and stay home if you are sick.”
He also says for folks who have visited Mexico in the last two weeks, it is important not to overreact, but at the same time watch for specific indicators that are more than just that sniffles. He says if you are suffering flu like symptoms, which include high fever, cough, headache, sore throat, muscle and joint pain to call your health care provider or call telehealth at 1-866-797-0000.
However, he says if you have those symptoms coupled with a shortness of breath or wheezing seek immediate attention it is not something you want to wait on.
Currently of the 19 confirmed cases of Swine Flu in Canadsa seven cases are in Ontario (6 woman, 1 man).NBPS Health Unit 1
VideoNBPS Health Unit 2