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Swine flu: What you should do

South King Fire and Rescue has some advice in light of the recent worldwide outbreak of swine flu. So far, there are no known cases of swine flu in Washington state.

• Avoid close contact with people who are sick; and when you are sick, keep your distance from others.

• Stay home when you are sick.

• Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.

• Wash your hands often with soap.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. This can spread germs quickly into your system.

• Practice other good health habits such as getting enough sleep, drinking plenty of fluids, and eating healthy.

SKFR is already putting in place some of its own precautions to help prevent firefighters from catching swine flu.

“We are evaluating our internal response plans. This means you may see firefighters wearing masks and gloves more often than usual. We have a responsibility to keep our firefighters healthy so they can continue to respond to our citizens,” chief of operations Ed Plumlee said in a press release.

Community agencies are also partnering in order to prepare for a potential outbreak. SKFR is meeting this week with representatives from the cities of Federal Way and Des Moines as well as St. Francis Hospital and other local agencies to coordinate planning, should an incident occur. King County Health and the Port of Seattle are continuing to monitor the situation and communicate to local agencies as necessary. Emergency dispatchers are also doing their part by collecting additional information that may help in patient care.

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