by Cindy Pomray – Health reporter, FOX21 – Orelia, Arizona
Multiple patients will be given any and all treatment choices when they are in Arizona, Florida and other storm-damaged states. The shot being used to fight E.coli in Mexico and the nasal-spray treatment that is being tested in the United States will be dispensed under the agency’s coordinated care system.
“It’s important that even though these diseases, pneumonia, the flu can spread by sneezing, we can prevent it by having doctors be able to prescribe these treatments at the physicians’ offices and the pharmacies,” said Gina DiGiovanni, Communications Specialist with the Centers for Disease Control.
The CDC says hurricane damage can last for months and the shots and nasal spray will come in handy once water is running again.
“The most important thing is if you are sick and you don’t feel well – get to a doctor for the first time. Don’t wait for anyone else to discover it,” said Dr. Jeff Katz, a pediatric infectious disease specialist.
Officials say patients can follow the same information that they used from pre-storm developments.
News outlets report E.coli and the flu could spread in the coming weeks. The flu season usually starts in October.
While we have thousands of people with recent flu symptoms in hurricane-hit areas who have not been seen by a doctor, the outbreak of E.coli in Mexico, and now, a possible increase in the flu in the United States, health experts have warned we shouldn’t panic.
World health researchers say the epidemic in Mexico and now the U.S. has been highly sophisticated, with cyclical patterns.
The CDC reports E.coli came from a cow that had not been milked and is a very complicated, dangerous bacterium, that can cause abdominal problems and more serious bacterial infections, including more severe kidney disease.
“What’s encouraging is that the outbreaks have been limited and that there haven’t been a lot of deaths reported, so that has to be taken into account,” said Gonzalez, of the Atlanta-based CDC.
CDC also reported that the virus causes symptoms associated with the flu and not always flu.
But here is what we know, E.coli is in the salmonella family and the flu is in the H1N1 group.
Nasal spray? E.coli shot? Flu shot? Not sure?
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The CDC says people often confuse E.coli with salmonella, but they’re not one and the same.
“One thing to keep in mind is E.coli is very hardy bacteria, because the environment is clean. Salmonella is a different story, because of the animal kingdom, and so you’ve got to be careful. You can pick it up in dust. We’ve seen salmonella in the shower, and it’s very different,” said Gonzalez.
He says the CDC is monitoring the situation, and similar outbreaks have been mentioned in the past, but this year’s rash of illnesses has not led to widespread concern.
“The main thing we’re seeing right now is E.coli or cholera and it’s very mild. It’s really so-so,” said Gonzalez.
Dr. Jeff Katz says whatever may come, it is important to stick with the CDC’s strongest measures.
“The CDC, they are very good at prevention of that particular disease,” said Katz.
He says the facts we have, show that this illness, and possibly others, has been severely limited to a few states and not across the country.
Dr. Katz says to make sure you are doing everything you can to protect yourself from coming down with the flu, the elderly, children and pregnant women should consult a doctor if they have flu symptoms like a sore throat or a cough that doesn’t go away.
He says to check out the CDC’s website for more information on flu season.