Local Health Department Calls Press Conference to Calm Fears About Swine Flu

by Victor Lopez
NewsWest 9

ECTOR COUNTY-- A little boy from Mexico died in Houston on Wednesday and the Ector County Health Department called a press conference to reassure concerned West Texans.

Although it was called by health officials, several departments are working together to get the word out, including E.C.I.S.D.

11 campuses of a North Texas school are closed for the rest of the week after 1 case of swine flu was confirmed in Cleburne, southwest of Dallas.

Ectory County Health Director Gino Solla says his department maintains constant communication with E.C.I.S.D. for situations just like this.

Although there have been no confirmed cases in West Texas, school and health officials agree it's better safe than sorry.

"For the short term, we do recommend, that if child does exhibit flu-like symptoms, take the precautions for a couple of days and see if they resolve themselves," Solla said.

As far as school closures are concerned, E.C.I.S.D. Superintendent Hector Mendez said, "We're prepared to do such, if the situation calls for it.  We hope, that here in Ector County, we don't have to go through that, but we are prepared."

Solla says local hospitals are also in constant contact with health officials and are staffed and equipped for any type of emergency situation.

To keep from contracting or spreading a virus, health officials recommend you wash your hands regulary with soap and water or hand sanitizer.  Sneeze into your sleeve or tissue.   Also, if you have any flu like symptoms, stay home and avoid contact with others, just to be safe. If you're symptoms persist for more than 2-3 days, consult your doctor.