TYLER, TX (KLTV) - It's now been declared a national public health emergency - more than three dozen confirmed cases of swine flu across the country, including two in Texas.
Northeast Public Health District officials say, at this time, there are no reported cases of swine flu in the area. They are working to keep it that way. Since last week, an epidemiologist has been in constant contact with local hospitals, doctor's offices, and schools, monitoring flu-like cases, and lab results.
One man is taking matters into his own hands. Wolf Ray, was out in front of the Smith County Courthouse, Monday morning, encouraging people to bump knuckles, or elbows, rather than shake hands. He said swine flu is something we should all be concerned about.
"I don't want to go to a funeral this year - not from the flu," he said.
Health officials say if you are experiencing symptoms - extremely high fever, severe aches and pains in your joints, nausea and vomiting - call your doctor.
Tamiflu, the antiviral medicine, is also in stock at local pharmacies.
Officials say common sense can help prevent catching the disease: cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when sneezing, or coughing, and immediately throw the tissue away; wash your hands with soap and water often, and avoid touching your face.