Flu tests returned, no swine flu at Barton | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Flu tests returned, no swine flu at Barton

Provided to the Tahoe Daily Tribune

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE – As of Thursday, South Lake Tahoe residents have tested negative for the swine flu.

Barton HealthCare System has taken active measures to comply with the World Health Organization, which raised their influenza pandemic alert level to 5.

“Because of the heightened alert level and the in-depth media coverage of the spread of this new virus, numerous patients were tested for swine flu earlier this week at various Barton facilities,” said Dr. Clint Purvance, Barton’s Chief Medical Officer.

“Test results came back today and they were all negative, we are happy to report,” Dr. Purvance said.

Tests were submitted to both California and Nevada testing facilities.

Level 5 alert notifies all countries to activate their pandemic preparedness plans. At this stage, effective and essential measures include heightened surveillance, early detection and treatment of cases and infection control in all health facilities.

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“We still encourage employees and the public to stay home if they are sick and take extra precautions as we would with any seasonal flu outbreak,” said Dr. Purvance. “If symptoms worsen beyond what is expected for a normal viral illness, seek medical care.”

Patients are strongly urged to not go to the hospital’s emergency room unless they are severely ill. This will help prevent the spread of the virus.

You can avoid becoming sick with the flu by:

” Covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.

” Wash your hands with soap and water frequently, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based cleaners are also effective.

” Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.

” Try to avoid contact with sick people.

“We will continue to keep the public informed if news at Barton changes,” he added.