Managing H1N1 in the Home

By: Rick Montanez Email
By: Rick Montanez Email

A mother in Monument recently found out her oldest son has the H1N1 virus. And she's worried about it spreading to the rest of her family.

Gayla Abercrombie is mostly concerned about her youngest son getting sick because he has asthma, which means the boy has a compromised immune system. If the boy gets the slightest cold it can make him really sick.

Since his brother has H1N1, Gayla is following doctor's orders to protect the children. She also came up with ideas of her own, like covering air vents in her house to keep the virus from spreading.

"When he comes up he has to have a mask on,” said Abercrombie. “And when I go down or my husband goes down, we have to wear a mask."

13-year-old Addison Abercrombie was told by his doctor that he has the H1N1 virus. When he's not hiding in his bedroom, he watches TV from the back porch of his home. Gayla says this is the most sick Addison has ever been. "General body aches, his back has been hurting between both shoulder blades," said Abercrombie.

To fight the virus, the family keeps masks, hand sanitizer and tissues around. "Its been kind of weird… the doctor said to keep him down in his room, not around these other two guys, especially because of my youngest and his asthma," said Abercrombie. She keeps a bag full of medication close by just in case.

"As a parent I want to make sure I have all the information so I can make an informed decision on how I’m going to try to prevent this spread to my sick child," said Abercrombie. She wants to know why schools aren't reporting each case of H1N1.

11 News took her concerns to the health department. "We can just assume that the disease is widespread, because that's what a pandemic means," said Bernadette Albanese, the Medical Director at The El Paso County Health Department.

Southern Colorado school districts met with the health department Wednesday. Schools were told by health officials not to worry about reporting each individual case to the heath department or to parents because there are too many cases to count.

The health department says when taking care of a sick person choose one healthy adult from your home to be the caregiver. If you’d like other key steps click on the links below.

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