Keeping the state safe - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Keeping the state safe

by John Wilmer

WATERLOO (KWWL) -- Cases are still not confirmed, but we've learned that Iowa now has three counties that may have a case of H1N1 flu. Des Moines County, Clinton County, and now Marshall County are being tested by the Centers for Disease Control.

If flu cases in Iowa are confirmed Governor Chet Culver has said a public health disaster declaration will be ordered. The declaration will give the state more options by allowing it to purchase, store and, distribute anti-virals and other medical supplies.            

Governor Culver didn't pull any punches by letting everyone know that it's a matter of time before Iowa has its first confirmed case of H1N1.

"More than 90 % of cases sent to the CDC for testing are positive.  Therefore we must assume that these three cases in Iowa will be confirmed," Governor Culver said.

The state received 750,000 doses of anti-viral medications. Officials have asked the Department of Public Safety to guard the state's supply.  

Local pharmacists say they are still in good shape, but that could change quickly.

"Right now we have the Tami flu and we have the form for children and capsules for adults. Right now it's in short supply as our wholesalers are limiting the amount we can order," Hy-Vee Pharmacist Jim Petersen said.

At Hy-Vee in Waterloo other preventive measures are flying off the shelves, everything from hand sanitizer to masks.

"Out of the masks right now, but they are expecting more by Saturday. We just got in a bunch of hand sanitizer and we've run basically out of that too. The people are listening and it looks like the stuff is going out of her fairly quick," Petersen said.

"As I have said before this is not a time for alarm rather it's a time to remain informed and to exercise the basic steps to help prevent catching or spreading of this flu," Governor Culver said.

Health officials are working together to ensure the safe and timely delivery of anti-virals to wherever they may be needed most across Iowa.

Online Reporter: John WIlmer

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