Carbon County officials say there is a preliminary plan in place for the county prison in the event of an A/H1N1 flu virus outbreak.

During the county commissioners' meeting on Thursday, Randy Smith, county administrator, said talks have taken place that in the event of a flu outbreak occurring in Carbon, officials may limit visitation hours at the Carbon County Correctional Facility in Nesquehoning if necessary. Currently, regular visitation hours are in place.

He added that talks about giving prison staff, as well as county employees who work with the public on a regular basis the new A/H1N1 vaccine, have occurred but the necessity has not yet been determined.

The A/H1N1 flu virus, commonly known as the Swine flu, has been a major concern in the country since April.

During that time, hundreds of cases across America were reported and medical personnel began working at developing a vaccine against the strain.

Officials are worried that as fall sets in, a flu pandemic may occur. They are combating this by distributing thousands of doses of the new A/H1N1 vaccine to people who would most likely be affected by the virus, including children up to the age of 24, pregnant women, and adults under 65 years old and have medical conditions. Cases of the virus have been reported recently in southern states, showing that the virus is still active in the country.

To combat against contracting the virus, federal officials advise everyone to take the following actions: wash your hands frequently with warm water and soap when in public places; get plenty of sleep; be physically active; eat a nutritious diet; drink plenty of fluids; and manage stress.

They also recommend coughing or sneezing into the bend of your elbow or a tissue; and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

If anyone has symptoms of the flu virus, which include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue, officials recommend seeking medical attention and staying home from school, work and other activities.