Miami Braces for Swine Flu - NBC 6 South Florida

Miami Braces for Swine Flu

Local health officials prepare fro outbreak

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Miami Braces for Swine Flu
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    Travelers returning to the US from Mexico yesterday at Miami International Airport were still wearing their blue surgical masks worn as flu protection while in Mexico.

    As the number of nationwide swine flu cases rises, Florida health officials are taking every precaution and are preparing for any reported cases in Miami.

    Though no cases have been reported in Florida, over three dozen people in the US were diagnosed yesterday, and local doctors and hospitals have been told to look out for and report any suspected swine flu cases.

    "We're are on alert; we've planned for this," Lillian Rivera, administrator of the Miami-Dade Health Department, told the Miami Herald.

    If a case is reported in Florida, emergency centers will open immediately and the public will receive information quickly from officials.

    "If we do have a case that does get reported that we have the necessary resources to handle that, that we can have assistance from our Federal partners," Gov. Charlie Crist said.

    Rivera said Florida officials are working with the federal government to make sure South Florida receives flu medications such as Tamiflu and Relenza, if flu does strike here. But those medicines are currently reserved for high alert areas such as Texas and New York, where swine flu cases have been reported, she said.

    28 cases were reported in New York as of yesterday, compared to seven in California , two in Kansas and Texas and one in Ohio.

    The suspected death toll in Mexico from the flu reached 159 yesterday, though the confirmed total sits at 20. US officials issued a travel advisory telling Americans to avoid nonessential travel to Mexico.

    Travelers returning to the US from Mexico yesterday at Miami International Airport were still wearing their blue surgical masks worn as protection while in Mexico.

    "I am very scared, all the people are scared," said Hilda Contreras, still wearing her mask in the airport.

    Flights and cruise ships continue to go to Mexico, though Royal Caribbean Cruises has placed notices throughout their ships to notify passengers of the danger and has enhanced the ships' sanitizing