Lane County takes swine flu precautions

Lane County takes swine flu precautions

EUGENE, Ore. - Swine flu cases across the world are rising, but they have not yet hit Oregon. According public health officials in a Monday afternoon news conference, Lane County has been preparing for an outbreak for almost a decade.

"We don't know how bad, or how serious this one behaves because we're just starting to pin down what the nature of this particular flu is," said Dr. Sarah Hendrickson, Lane County Public Health Officer.

While Eugene health experts are on alert, it's business as usual for some public institutions.

Representatives for both Bethel and Eugene 4J school districts said over the phone Monday morning, they aren't taking any special precautions with students, but nursing staff are keeping a lookout for kids who may be experiencing flu-like symptoms.

On the other hand, the Eugene Airport set up cleaning stations with sanitizers and anti-bacterial wipes throughout the facility. The airport doesn't get any international flights, but a spokesperson said it's up to the airlines to determine if they would deny boarding to any travelers who are showing flu-like symptoms.

Hospitals are taking precautions too. Those visiting Sacred Heart Medical Center may be asked to wear a face mask if they're showing the signs.

There's not a vaccine or any means of prevention for this strain of flu, but within this week the federal government will be releasing a shipment of anti-viral medications that county doctors will use to treat the strain.

Staff with Lane County Public Health are working around the clock to answer your questions about the swine flu and have set up an information line at 682-4181. It will be updated each day as information comes in.