Concern Grows over Swine Flu
Release Date: 05/18/2009
Media Contact: Jen Kucirek
(402) 343-4676

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“There is No Reason to Panic” – Dr. Larry Brown

There is mounting concern about the spread of the swine flu in the United States. Cases have been reported from New York City to San Diego. But Alegent Health Clinic physician Larry Brown, M.D. says there is no reason to panic.

“I would encourage parents to be vigilant about good hygiene and that means making sure you and your children are washing your hands, coughing into tissue or your sleeve and cleaning surfaces where you work and play,” said Dr. Brown, who specializes in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at the Alegent Health Clinic in Bellevue.

If your child is coughing or sneezing and has a runny nose but no fever, they are fine to send to school. If, however, they start running a fever, Dr. Brown says it’s best to keep them home until that fever has been gone for 24-hours.

The Alegent Health Podcast
Episode #25 Swine Flu

(2.8 MB)
Symptoms of the swine flu include:

  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea

Other flu facts:

  • Swine flu begins with pig-to-human infection; health officials have now confirmed person-to-person infection in the United States and Mexico.
  • Swine flu spreads from person to person by:
    • Coughing or sneezing on or around someone
    • Touching something with the flu virus on it and then touching your mouth or nose
  • Symptoms can take seven days to develop after exposure – however you can start spreading the virus a full day before those symptoms appear
  • This strain of the swine flu is not covered by last fall's flu shots
  • Anti viral medications like TamiFlu, are effective treatments for swine flu.
  • Once symptoms develop you should stay home and avoid close contact with others

Health officials have issued a warning discouraging all nonessential travel to Mexico. If you have traveled to Mexico within the past week you should take additional precautions, whether you feel sick or not. “Out of concern for your friends, family, and co-workers, it would be wise to avoid all close contact until you have been out of Mexico and symptom-free for at least a week,” said Dr. Brown. “If you have been exposed to the flu, you can give it to others whether you feel sick or not.”

If you begin to feel ill with swine flu type symptoms, you are encouraged to see your physician. If you do not have a doctor or their office is closed, you can go to any Alegent Health Quick Care Clinic, located in metro area HyVee stores. Highly qualified physicians assistants can test you or your children for the virus and provide a prescription for medications to help you recover.