by: Kristen Guilfoos
The death toll is rising by the day... It's now 150 and counting.
Just this afternoon, three swine flue cases were confirmed in dallas county... Bringing the total number of cases in texas to 5 and nationwide to 48.
Even though the virus has not killed anyone in the United States, local officials maintain that swine flu is nothing to sneeze at.
We're now just two steps away from being in the middle of a full-blown Swine Flu pandemic.
"If they have a fever they will be sent home from school," said Brenda Adams, AISD Student Health Services.
While we have not been hit as hard as our southern neighbors in Mexico, everyone in the Panhandle is urged to be on alert.
"Common sense steps that everybody needs to be taking right now to avoid this. You know, wash your hands, don't show up for work sick, don't sneeze in public," said Ellen Green, Amarillo College.
At WT, they're taking it one step further.
"It's important that we know if you're not coming to class where are you? so the best way to do that is to take roll at every class and then we have folks that are scheduled to contact those people and say we just wanted to check on you. Are you okay? are you doing fine?" said Dr. Neal Weaver, WTAMU Vice President.
"If you walk through the door to your doctor's office and have symptoms of the flu you can expect to be given a bed-side test, but you can also expect to have to wait a while to find out if you actually have swine flu," said Dr. Todd Bell, Amarillo Health Authority.
So it doesn't tell us is it the same flu a that we had floating around in the community three weeks ago or if it's swine flu which is also flu a.
If that's the case, your swab will be shipped to austin, where more in-depth testing takes place.
The last stop is the centers for disease control in atlanta, they're the ones who can officially
make the swine flu diagnosis.
You do not have to worry about catching swine flu from eating or handling pork.The virus only survives in living animals, so it's long gone before that bacon or pork chop ever reaches your plate.