LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Though no cases of swine flu have shown up on the South Plains, the Centers for Disease Control says the number of nationwide cases has risen to over 200 - across 23 states.
Though we haven't seen any cases of the H1-N1 Virus in Lubbock County, area residents are taking precautions by washing their hands and using plenty of hand sanitizer. So much, that many Hub City stores can't keep their shelves stocked. "Monday, I came in and the shelf was empty, so I went and got some, filled it back up, and before I even got my truck again yesterday (Thursday) it was empty," said United Supermarkets Manager Starla White.
Employees say since the H1-N1 Virus outbreak, Hub City residents are buying in bulk. "People are not coming in and buying one bottle. They're coming in and buying multiple bottles. Teachers are coming in and buying 24 at a time and taking them to their classrooms. Businesses are coming in," said United Guest Experience Coordinator Stephanie McKee.
White restocked the shelves Friday afternoon, but says the store will not get another shipment until at least next week. Hand sanitizer isn't the only product the store is out of - they don't have any air filter masks either.
The Lubbock Health Department says there are no confirmed cases of the virus in Lubbock County and asks people not to panic about the national outbreak. They encourage people to wash their hands often to prevent the spread of germs. If you can't find hand sanitizer at the store, use soap and water or disinfectant wipes.
NewsChannel 11 called several other stores besides United. All the Wal-Marts in town say they are completely out of hand sanitizer. Some local CVS and Walgreens stores do have bottles on the shelves, but most that do say their stock is selling quickly.
At Citibus, they want to assure everyone they are taking precautionary, preventive steps to disinfect buses every night using a chemical spray that kills germs including the H1-N1 virus. Once again, there are no confirmed cases in Lubbock County at this time, these steps are just to be proactive.
Congressman Randy Neugebauer says he feels the federal government has a handle on the health situation as well. "We are very concerned about what's going on with this h1n1 virus, and I think the good news is the federal government is out on the front of this. This is not something you want to be behind the curve on, so we're monitoring the cases," he said.
The Lubbock Health Department says the most important thing anyone can do is wash your hands, and stay home if you are sick.
|Swine Flu Coverage|