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Kansas leaders hold swine flu summit

The swine flu has now been reported in 50 of the state's 105 counties. One person, a Sedgwick County resident, has died. Monday, the governor held a summit to discuss the global pandemic of the virus.
/ Source: KSNW-TV

The swine flu has now been reported in 50 of the state's 105 counties. One person, a Sedgwick County resident, has died. Monday, the governor held a summit to discuss the global pandemic of the virus.

"I want the state to know we're doing everything we can to minimize the impact it will have on the state of Kansas," said Governor Mark Parkinson.

Health officials are planning for the worst and best case scenarios. At best, the swine flu would be similar to the seasonal flu. At worst, it could become the next pandemic.

"You need to give some thought now as to how you're going to handle potentially a member of your family being quite ill," said Major General Todd Bunting with Kansas Emergency Management. "So this is somewhat different than preparing for a tornado or winter storm."

About 45 million doses of an H1N1 vaccine are expected by mid-October with 80 million available per month starting in November. Kansas can expect to receive about one percent of those numbers. Once available, those in high priority groups would receive the vaccine first. That includes pregnant women, households or caregivers of children younger than six months of age, everyone up to age 65 with a chronic medical condition and everyone six months to 24 years old.

"This is a group that has the highest incidents, highest likelihood of becoming infected with the disease," said Dr. Jason Eberhart-Phillips, health director with KDHE.

That's why Sedgwick County is kicking off a campaign in schools, stressing the importance of washing your hands.

Health officials are also asking residents to get a seasonal flu shot. That vaccine should be available in September.




See story video at KSN.com