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Monday, April 27, 2009

Westport, Weston, Wilton Review Flu Outbreak Preparations

The leaders of Westport, Weston, and Wilton said today they have reviewed emergency pandemic flu preparations with their emergency management officials as well as the director of the Westport Weston Health District following outbreaks of swine flu in the United States.

The three communities are grouped together by the Connecticut Department of Public Health for purposes of responding to pandemic flu and other health emergencies.

“We have had emergency plans in place for some time and are confident that our towns and Health District are prepared and will be able to respond appropriately should there be a need,” said Westport First Selectman Gordon F. Joseloff.

“It is vital that our residents be familiar with the flu symptoms and follow the instructions of the health professionals in the case of illness,” said Weston First Selectman Woody Bliss.

Added Wilton First Selectman William Brennan: “While people should stay alert, there certainly is no need to panic. If you have mild symptoms, simply stay at home.”

Mark A. R. Cooper, Director of Health for the Westport Weston Health District, said he has been in close touch with state Department of Health officials following the declaration Sunday by the federal government of a public health emergency to respond to the outbreak.

“We have contacted area physicians and hospitals to remind them of the need to give the state lab test samples from patients with flu-like symptoms who have traveled recently to affected areas,” Cooper said.

Cooper also said he has been in touch with area pharmacies about their stock of anti-flu medications and other emergency supplies.

The elected officials and the Director of Health urged area residents to follow these guidelines as issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

1. Avoid close contact.

Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.

2. Stay home when you are sick.

If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. You will help prevent others from catching your illness.

3. Cover your mouth and nose.

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.

4. Clean your hands.

Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs.

5. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.

6. Practice other good health habits.

Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.

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Posted 04/27/09 at 09:07 PM  Permalink



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