Hispanics seeking swine flu information

By Steve Ohnesorge

MORGANTON,NC (WBTV) - Though the focus of the swine flu attention has been on Mexico as the source of the illness, many Mexicans in the Carolinas say they are just now finding out about the sickness. "We are not getting any information," said one woman through interpreter Riccardo Serrano.

Serrano says many Hispanics can't speak English, can't pick up a Spanish radio station, or don't have television. The danger, he says is that someone who may be infected, may not know the symptoms and could make their way to the Carolinas and infect others before anyone realizes it.

Local Hispanic churches are trying to spread the word about the flu and how people should protect themselves. They plan to distribute flyers and talk about the problem during church services. But most of the information is being spread by word of mouth, person to person.

Many Hispanics who are just now learning about the flu say they are worried about their families in Mexico and will call more often to check on them and exchange information about the situation.

Health experts say it is critical for everyone to know how best to avoid the flu. They recommend staying away from large crowds, frequent hand washing, and avoiding anyone who is sick.