Doctors preparing for swine flu

April 28, 2009 3:28:41 PM PDT
Even as health officials rule out one possible local case of the swine flu they do expect to see cases here in the future. Local healthcare providers are getting ready and answering a lot of questions from people in the community.

Sandra Garcia was planning on visiting family in Mexico soon, bringing her new baby but due to the swine flu outbreak she's cancelled her trip.

"It's scary to go down there with a newborn."

And as the number of cases of swine flu rises worldwide so do the concerns.

Local doctors' offices say they're getting a lot of calls from worried patients.

"Just worried they might have the illness."

Dr. Annette O'Neil runs the Norristown Regional Medical Center. They see a lot of Mexican-American patients.

"They maybe a little more concerned but many have been here for a while, they haven't traveled, they haven't been around anyone who has traveled so they're no more at risk than anyone else."

Still like all other health centers, they're on high-alert watching for symptoms and preparing to handle patients with symptoms. They have face masks ready and plenty of swabbing kits to test for the virus.

Pharmacists are also getting ready. Jim Reginelli of Lombard Apothecary says he's fielding questions about prescription anti-viral drugs Tamiflu and Relenza. Both work against swine flu and supplies are said to be ample.

"I guess you could say through my wholesaler, it's limitless we'll be able to get it whenever we need it."

Still, the hope is we won't need it.

Officials say doctors should be prepared to mask and isolate patients if someone comes in with symptoms. If it looks like swine flu, patients will be kept in isolation at least until test results can show otherwise.

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