East Alabama health experts weigh in on Swine Flu

AUBURN, AL (WTVM) - There's no reason to panic. That's the word from East Alabama health experts who say they believe swine flu will be no worse than your typical seasonal flu. Here's what your family needs to know, to be prepared, not scared.

Wash your hands. Auburn University Medical Director, Dr. Frederick Kam, says that's the number one thing your family needs to do to protect against the swine flu.

We asked Dr. Kam if he believed the swine flu strain, as is, would lead to a pandemic.

"there's no indication this will cause a pandemic. I'm about as concerned with this as I am about seasonal flu, and folks missing work and kids missing school," explained Dr. Kam.

Benja Morgan is East Alabama Medical Center's Infectious Disease expert.

She said the strain is not covered by your flu shot, but it is very treatable with Tamiflu and Relenza and there is not a shortage. President Obama has declared an emergency in order to release stockpiles of both drugs, just in case.

"I think the U.S. has made an effort to stop it before it is far gone," she said.

As of Monday afternoon, 40 people had gotten sick in the U.S, with no deaths.

"I don't think we will see any deaths, at least at his point, unless the strain that is there mutates from what we know now," said Dr. Kam.

Mexico, however has reported thousands of cases, with 149 deaths and that number is expected to climb. The CDC is expected to release a travel advisory late Monday afternoon.

Dr. Kam is issued a warning Monday.

"At this point I wold hold off on any travel to Mexico," said Kam.

Dr. kam expects the swine flu to be with us for another 6 to 12 weeks. He compared the flu to a marathon, not a sprint. If you don't feel well, see your doctor and stay home, away from work. Also, stay educated, visit the CDC's website for daily updates on the swine flu, we have a link on wtvm.com. If you don't have access to a computer, call your doctor.