Calcasieu Police Jurors get swine flu update

By Theresa Schmidt - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - In their Ways and Means Committee Calcasieu Police Jurors got an update on the swine flu outbreak. They were supplied with a fact sheet on the illness and each given hand sanitizer-- itself a reminder to wash hands and be extra careful about spreading germs.

Calcasieu Director of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness Dick Gremillion says the virus can live on surfaces like a door knob for 48 hours. "Alcohol based hand cleaners are good but soap and water is probably better because you have an opportunity to rub your hands. Alcohol based cleaner provides you something when you don't have soap and water."

Besides good hygiene Gremillion says the experts urge social distancing. "If you already have health problems try to stay away from crowds or maybe not get so close to people when you're talking to them."

While the situation reminds people of the outbreak in 1918 that killed many people, Gremillion says they've no way of knowing how bad it may get. "We talked to Dr. Guidry, the state health officer, on a conference call this afternoon and they're stressing that shutting down events or facilities would be counter productive at this point. The best defense is to isolate persons who are sick."

Jurors do want to make sure they are kept up to date on the latest developments locally.  Asked Juror Sandy Treme, "Would you mind faxing each one of us so that when people ask us we will at least have some answers."

Gremillion says people should take the situation seriously and prepare much the way they would for a hurricane.