Buena Vista County has now confirmed several cases of H1N1 "swine flu" virus. The cases have been in the age groups anticipated, all under 24 years of age.
"The cases we have seen continue to be mildly ill, no worse than the seasonal flu. People who get H1N1 can probably expect to be sick for several days with fever and respiratory symptoms," said Pam Bogue, of Buena Vista County Public Health. "People should be aware that if symptoms worsen - such as high fever or trouble breathing - they should seek medical care. People are encouraged to call their doctor's office before going."
Postcards from Iowa Governor Chet Culver and the Iowa Department of Public Health have been arriving in mailboxes over the last few days as the state tries to get accurate information out on the illness.
"Local Public Health encourages BV County citizens to follow the simple steps to "Fight the Flu" by remembering the 3 C's," says Bogue. "They are Cover your cough by using a tissue or your elbow (not into the air or your hand), Clean your hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer and Contain germs by staying at home when sick. If your start having symptoms of the flu - things like sore throat, runny nose, a cough, a fever - you need to stay home, take care of yourself and not spread those germs to other people."
The Centers for Disease Control recommends:
* Stay home for at least 24 hours after fever is gone without fever reducing medicine, except to get medical care.
* Drink clear fluids (water, broth, sports drinks, electrolyte beverages for infants).
* Clean dishes in hot, soapy water or dishwasher. Throw away used tissues immediately.
* Have everyone in the household wash hands often with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing.
Anyone with questions on the fast-spreading H1N1 illness is encouraged to call the toll-free Influenza Hotline at 1-800-447-1985 or BV Public Health at 712-749-2548.