Kansas City, MO – Two Kansans are among the some twenty people infected with a new strain of swine flu in the U.S.
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment, or KDHE, reports the infected couple live in Dickenson County. That's about 150 miles west of Kansas City. One of the infected individuals recently traveled from an airport in Wichita to Mexico, where the strain has likely sickened more than 1300 people and killed at least twenty. None of the U.S. cases have been fatal.
Jason Eberhart-Philips is director of the health division at KDHE and says there's been limited exposure to the two infected individuals in Kansas, who stayed home when they started feeling sick. But he also says KDHE has been out in full force since they confirmed the two cases over the weekend.
EBERHART-PHILLIPS: "Well, we certainly have a terrific team of people who study the distribution of the disease and interview cases and possible cases and contacts. So, we have those people working overtime now on this around the state."
The new flu strain is a mixture of pig, bird and human viruses. Symptoms are pretty general, and include high fever, body aches, coughing, sore throat, and in some cases, vomiting and diarrhea.
Health officials recommend that anyone experiencing those symptoms contact their doctor. They're also advising people to take standard flu precautions, which can greatly reduce the spread of such an infection. That means frequent hand washing, staying home when feeling ill, not touching one's eyes, nose, or mouth, and coughing into one's elbow or sleeve, as opposed to a bare hand.
Funding for health care coverage on KCUR has been provided by the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City.
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