Swine flu hits El Paso County

Two people in El Paso County have been hospitalized with confirmed cases of swine flu, according to the El Paso County Department of Health and Environment.

The first two known cases in the county, a woman and an unrelated infant are recovering from the virus.

“This situation continues to evolve, and we knew it was just a matter of time before the county identified lab-confirmed cases of H1N1 flu,” said Kandi Buckland, public health director. “This news doesn’t change the basic illness preventor messages that we’ve been expressing to the community.”

The department has posted up-to-date medical and educational material on its Web site, answering phone calls form the public and working with medical providers, hospitals and city emergency officials.

“We are focusing our efforts on prevention,” Buckland said. “No vaccine exists for this novel HIN1 virus, so the best way for people to protect themselves is through the same sound public health threats that protect them from many other illnesses.”

The department advices staying home if you have a fever, washing hands frequently, cover your sneezes and coughs, and avoid others with respiratory illnesses.