Sep 30, 2009 5:34 PM by Andy Koen
The El Paso County Department of Public Health and Environment is urging the community not to worry about the number of cases of H1N1 flu being reported, because an overwhelming majority of cases go unreported.
Public health officer Kandi Buckland says the regular flu season isn't here yet and chances are that ifa flu-like illness is going around the office or at school, it's probably the swine flu.
"If people are showing flu like symptoms, it's most likely H1N1," she explains.
"The only requirement to report H1N1 is in hospitalizations or pediatric deaths."
Buckland stresses that good health practices are the best protection against infection of H1N1 or any other illness.
"It doesn't matter if it's H1N1 or seasonal flu, what you do, the response, is exactly the same."
Buckland also stresses that parents must to be ready to keep their kids home from school for three to five days, or at least until their fever breaks without the help of medicine.
"I think you have to ask yourself the question, 'If my child was healthy and someone else was sending their child to school who was sick, if it's with a cold or if it's with influenza, wouldn't I prefer that that student stay home?'"
Remember to cover coughs and sneezes, wash hands frequently and be ready to stay home should the need arise. Click here to read the latest H1N1 influenza information.