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Hospitals prep for outbreak

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Posted: Tuesday, April 28, 2009 12:00 pm | Updated: 8:13 am, Thu Aug 16, 2012.

By Hayley Kappes

Killeen Daily Herald

The Texas Department of State Health Services confirmed Monday two 16-year-olds from Guadalupe County near San Antonio tested positive for swine flu, bringing the U.S. count to 48 verified cases of the virus.

Neither boy was hospitalized and both have recovered, according to a statement released by the department.

Scott & White Hospital in Temple is monitoring the situation and its policies will reflect Centers for Disease Control recommendations should a local outbreak occur, said Dr. John Joseph, staff physician at Scott & White's Killeen clinic.

"The stronger the body's immune system is, the better able people are to fight off infection," Joseph said. "People should eat nutritious meals, get plenty of sleep and exercise to build up their immune system."

Joseph said people should seek evaluation if their symptoms include dry mucus membranes such as lips, inability to urinate, extreme fatigue, dizziness and shortness of breath.

Metroplex's Community Relations Director Susan Kolodziejczyk said the hospital was in the midst of finalizing its swine flu plan Monday afternoon.

"Metroplex will outline the situation by level and alert, posting information to the public as we receive it," Kolodziejczyk said. "If patients have flu-like symptoms, they will be masked and quarantined into a special area."

Kolodziejczyk said the hospital will follow the CDC's guidelines regarding treatment.

Metroplex's recommendations for any type of flu is to remain at home to avoid spread, drink plenty of fluids and only go to the emergency room when respiratory problems exist.

"Anyone who is at the stage where flu signs are present, need to have tests run to see if they have swine or another type of influenza," Kolodziejczyk said. "Testing can be done at your local clinic, physicians office or ER."

Kolodziejczyk said people should not panic in light of the swine flu outbreak, and discouraged people from immediately rushing to the hospital.

Contact Hayley Kappes at hayleyk@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7559.

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