No cases of Swine Flu in Nevada County " calmness urged | SierraSun.com

No cases of Swine Flu in Nevada County " calmness urged

Dave Moller
Sun News Service

NEVADA COUNTY “-While Nevada County officials are telling residents not to panic about the recent outbreak of swine flu, they do have a plan in case it surfaces here.

“We haven’t had any suspected or confirmed cases in Nevada County,” said county Health and Human Services Director Jeff Brown. “The big news is the suspected case in Sacramento County.”

That case was confirmed Monday by Dr. Gil Chavez, the state deputy director at California’s Center for Infectious Disease. Swine flu, which is spread by pigs and reportedly now by humans, has also been confirmed in 10 other cases in Southern California and two more are possible.

U.S. health authorities were advising people to postpone non-essential trips to Mexico, where the swine flu broke out and has killed 20 people, with another 129 deaths suspected.

“If you come into contact with someone who has travelled to Mexico in the last seven days and that person was sick, or you got sick, you need to see your health provider,” said Patty Carter, the county Health Department’s coordinator for emergency services.

“We’re in connections with the doctors, the hospital and the clinics,” Carter said.

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“We’re running the Health Department like an incident command center.

“The county has an endemic flu plan,” Carter said. “It’s been tested in drills over the past few years and we have a plan if hospital beds are exceeded and how to treat more people than the hospital can handle.”

Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital spokeswoman Brett Bentley said there have been no cases at the facility. The hospital is in close contact with the county Health Department and is ready if cases occur, she added.

Grass Valley Schools Superintendent John Byerrum said he would be notifying parents this week in a letter of the precautions they can take to avoid getting swine flu. He said his office hadn’t received any calls on Monday about swine flu, “but it’s good for us to be proactive.”

Byerrum said he would be following the lead of the county Health Department for notifications.

“We don’t want to panic people, and we just want to make sure parents are doing what they can to stay safe,” he said.

Sharyn Turner, coordinator of school health services for the Nevada County Superintendent of Schools office, sent out a letter from both Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and state Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell about precautions to avoid swine flu.

“Obviously, there are parents who are concerned,” she said.

The Twin Ridges school district sent out an “all-call” to parents of students in the district about precautions to take in relation to the swine flu.