Thursday, April 30, 2009

Health Officials Not Recommending Cancelation Of Large Events

Five probable Swine Flu cases detected in Wisconsin

By H. Nelson Goodson
April 30, 2009

Milwaukee - On Thursday, City of Milwaukee Commissioner of Health Bevan K. Baker said he is not recommending the cancelation of large events in the community. Baker confirmed event organizers are making their own decisions to cancel events. Five probable Swine Flu (H1N1) cases have been reported in Wisconsin, including two in Milwaukee. These cases have not been confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
One major Hispanic event scheduled for Friday, the May 1st Immigrant March is scheduled to take place, Voces de la Frontera confirmed Thursday. Their Racine march and rally has been cancelled, according to Christine Neumann-Ortiz, Executive Director of Voces de la Frontera. “We all take seriously the health risks presented by the Swine Flu and our highest priority is the well being of our communities and neighbors.
Neither the Surgeon General's office nor the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have called for the postponement or cancelation of public events such as baseball or basketball games, festivals or concerts. They have also not called for the use of face masks or respirators at such events,” Neumann-Ortiz said.
“UMOS management has decided to cancel Cinco de Mayo Spring Fest. The festival will not be rescheduled for a later date in 2009,” said Rod Ritcherson, UMOS spokesperson. United Migrant Opportunity Services Inc. (UMOS), 2701 S. Chase Ave. was sponsoring the two day Cinco de Mayo event, but decided to cancel for precautionary measures and health concerns at their Corporate parking lot in the South side. Mario Marin Torres, Governor of the State of Puebla in Mexico was invited to participate in the event on Saturday. The Swine Flu (H1N1) epidemic in Mexico forced Mexican Governor Torres to cancel his visit to Milwaukee. At least 172 dead have been confirmed in Mexico and 1 death in the U.S. as a result of the Swine Flu.
Baker reported one adult and one child might have probable Swine Flu in Milwaukee. City officials ordered the following public schools closed Mitchell Street School, 1728 South 23rd Street, Riverside University High School, 1615 East Locust Street, Clement Avenue School, 3666 South Clement Avenue, Rogers Street Academy, 2430 West Rogers Street and Allen-Field Elementray School, 730 W. Lapham Ave. because of the probable flu outbreak.
School officials from both St. Anthony School and St. Adalbert Catholic School decided to close on Friday until further notice as a precautionary measure related to the flu. Another 100 suspected cases in Wisconsin are waiting results. Sixteenth Street Community Health Center on S. Cesar E. Chavez Drive has reported an increase of flu like cases and are trying to confirm for Swine Flu. Baker expects the deadly Swine Flu virus to hit Wisconsin at any time.
“By order of the Milwaukee Health Department, five MPS schools are closed until further notice. The schools include four elementary schools on the south side of the city, and one large high school on the east side of Milwaukee. The closures affect all programming at the four sites, including Head Start programs, athletic activities, and before- and after-school programs. There will be no student attendance at the schools until further notice. Staff members who work at these schools are asked to stay home,” Roseann St. Aubin, MPS Director of Communications & Public Affairs said.
Aubin says, about 20 per cent of students are Hispanic and students just had a Spring break. Many of the Latino students and their families might have travelled to Mexico to visit relatives before the outbreak began in Mexico.
The Swine Flu has similar symptoms to other flu viruses. Health officials say, wash hands repeatedly, if contracted see doctor within 48 hours, and avoid sick people. Facing major outbreaks, smokers are more likely to contract the Swine Flu. Time to quit smoking they recommend.
US Centers for Disease Control reported 109 mild cases of Swine Flu (H1N1), and totals vary as states update cases. A 23-month old toddler died in Houston, Texas on Monday. The toddler a resident from Mexico was visiting family in Brownsville. Also on Wednesday, 1st case of Swine Flu (H1N1) reported in Chicago, Illinois and one case confirmed in Cold Spring, Minnesota as well. The school in Chicago closed down to get scrubbed and clean up. In Minnesota, two schools including Rocori Middle School were temporarily closed to clean up and scrub the schools.
The World Health Organization (WHO) reported the Swine Flu was on phase 5, its second-highest level. The decision to raise the alert means all countries should immediately now activate their pandemic preparedness plans. More than, seven countries have confirmed Swine Flu cases, and the flu is wide spreading rapidly by travelers, according to WHO.
Click on photo to enlarge.

No comments: