Navajo Nation focuses on H1N1 awareness

<i>Photo by Anton Wero/NHO</i><br>
Herman Shorty, Program Manager for Environmental Health answers the question, "Is it ok to eat the food at the flea markets?" His response: "There not a problem with any food at the flea markets."

<i>Photo by Anton Wero/NHO</i><br> Herman Shorty, Program Manager for Environmental Health answers the question, "Is it ok to eat the food at the flea markets?" His response: "There not a problem with any food at the flea markets."

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. - With confirmed cases of the H1N1 in the Navajo Area Indian Health Service (NAIHS) area, the Navajo Nation Division of Health, NAIHS and the Navajo Division of Education in a joint effort went to the airwaves on KTNN May 13. A panel of the Incident Commander members updated the listeners and answered questions from the audience.

As of May 18, there were three confirmed cases of H1N1 (swine flu) in the NAIHS area.

During the program, facilitated by Ray Tsosie of KTNN and Dr. Douglas Peter, NAIHS Chief Medical Officer, talked about the recent cases involving the confirmed cases treated and released in the Navajo IHS area. He also reviewed the H1N1 Influenza treatment and treatment of flu for those that are in the hospitals and mild cases, and provided tips for high risk groups.

Brian Johnson, NAIHS Environmental Health, Incident Commander talked about NAIHS activities related to the emergency response, reassuring to the public that IHS is ready and prepared to respond.

Herman Shorty, Program Manager for Environmental Health, Incident Commander for the Navajo Nation Division of Health Incident Command, talked about the H1N1 virus and how it is different from seasonal flu.

Maeuneka C. Wero, a Senior Health Educator with the Navajo Nation Division of Health, provided some preventive community education such as "hands washing, cover your cough, etc." She reviewed in the Navajo language the preventive measures with social distancing awareness with the upcoming social events; high school proms, traditional ceremonies, sports activities, social gatherings such as song and dance, shopping in malls (enclosed areas), weekend flea markets, etc.

David Nez, the Program Manager for the NDOH/Bio-Terrorism Preparedness Program and the Public Health Emergency Coordinator for the NDOH Incident Command Post, provided the Navajo Nation Public Health Emergency's preparedness and response plan.

Andrew Tahy, Navajo Nation Education Department superintendent, reviewed the schools plan of action in relation to H1N1.

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