April 29, 2009
Washington, D.C. – Nevada Senators Harry Reid and John Ensign today made the following joint statement regarding the first reported case of swine flu in Nevada:
“We understand that Nevadans are concerned about the confirmed case of swine flu in Nevada but we want to assure Nevadans that this situation is receiving the full attention and resources of local, state and federal government. In addition, there are important steps that individuals may take to help to stay healthy. These steps, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), are:
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hands cleaners are also effective.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.
- Try to avoid contact with sick people, as influenza is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected people.
- If you get sick, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.
“The CDC also recommends that you: follow public health advice regarding school closures, avoiding crowds and other social distancing measures; develop a family emergency plan as a precaution, which should include storing a supply of food, medicines, facemasks, alcohol-based hand rubs and other essential supplies; and if necessary, call 1-800-CDC-INFO for more information. Approximately 30,000 people die as a result of influenza each year, and just as in years past proper precautions and personal responsibility are your best protections.
“The planning and the funding we have provided to date have helped to ensure that we are prepared to minimize the impact of this virus. For example, Nevada has approximately 140,000 courses of anti-viral treatment on hand, and is expecting another 86,000 courses from the federal government by the end of the week. President Obama yesterday requested $1.5 billion ‘out of an abundance of caution’ for funding to address any additional needs including: supplementing anti-viral stockpiles; developing a vaccine; supporting the monitoring, diagnostic and public health response capabilities; and assisting international efforts to stem the outbreak.
“Also, please know this is not a food-borne illness. Pork is safe to eat. You can follow the listed steps provided by the CDC to help prevent the spread of not just swine flu, but other contagious disease, and we ask that you share these tips with your family and friends.
“As is always the case in situations like this, knowledge is power, and in this situation it has nothing to do with one particular race or region of people. We need to exercise tolerance and patience as we work together to address the situation”
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