Response to swine flu easing back

The response to the recent Swine Flu scare was eased back last week after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention changed its guidelines and is now recommending that most people with mild flu symptoms no longer need to see a doctor.

Instead, the CDC and state health officials are recommending that only people in the hospital, young children, older adults and those with underlying illnesses should be given the anti-viral medications Tamiflu and Relenza, according to a state Department of Health and Hospitals news release.

Specialized testing and antiviral treatments do not have much impact on the course of recovery, DHH said.

Those at high risk are: children under age 5 (especially those under age 2), adults ages 65 and older, pregnant women, residents in nursing homes, and people with chronic illnesses.

“If your symptoms are mild and you are not in one of the high-risk categories, then you should stay home and try to recuperate with rest and fluids,” said Dr. Jimmy Guidry, the state’s health officer.

Guidry cautioned that people should still seek medical attention for symptoms “they would normally call their doctor for.”

Guidry said he doesn’t want people to ask to be tested for swine flu “if they are simply curious.”

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