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Swine Flu: Are You Worried?

by Maggie O'Mara

Bio | Email | Follow: @maggiektvb7


Posted on April 29, 2009 at 7:11 AM

Updated Thursday, Oct 22 at 11:10 AM

Swine Flu Concerns

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We're doing our best here at Channel 7 to present the facts and what you need to know about the Swine flu outbreak... WITHOUT freaking you out. Since we have NO CONFIRMED CASES here in Idaho - things are calm for now. We want to keep it that way...

If you have questions, look for this icon below on our homepage for all the resources (Q and A) you need to keep you and your family safe:

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When I came into work this morning, I was heartbroken to hear that a toddler in Texas had died from Swine flu overnight... we also learned this morning that a school in Chicago was shutting down operations for the day because of worry over the flu.

Local Schools Taking Action

In Nampa: staff members are telling parents to keep their sick kids home and school nurses are giving students healthy tips. Custodians will be disinfecting high traffic areas, and nurses are showing students proper handwashing techniques. Parents are being asked to keep any sick kids home. They also will be taking notice of all student and employee absences.

District spokesperson Allison Westfall tells us this is all part of pandemic flu plan they've put in place before, when the Avian (Bird) Flu was an issue.

"Actually I believe several government agencies have in place flu plans, and obviously we have a lot of students that we serve so we had that plan in place. We have been in contact with the health department as well." - Allison Westfall

Boise schools are also taking similar steps.

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OR... H1N1 Virus?

The US Agriculture Secretary would like the Swine flu to be called the H1N1 Virus instead - starting now.

Tom Vilsack says calling it the Swine flu is hurting America's pork producers. He wants to remind Americans that you can't get the virus from eating pork:

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Tom Vilsack

"The livelihoods of a lot of people are at stake here and we want to reinforce that we're doing everything that we possibly can to make sure that our hog industry is sound and safe - and to make sure the consumers in this country and around the world know that American products are safe." - Tom Vilsack, Agriculture Secretary

I think Vilsack is too late. Everyone is already calling it the SWINE FLU... old habits die hard.

What do you think?