Hispanic Workers Profiled Because of Swine Flu

and the paranoia begins….

The Douglas County Health Department says about forty percent of the population in Arcola is Hispanic. And the phones have been ringing with concerns.

But it’s not all about symptoms and how to handle them. Some say they were sent home from the job because they had traveled to Mexico. So they lost a day’s pay and were asked to bring a doctor’s note to come back.

Translators say clients called them upset saying this is racism. “If there are people coming from Mexico, they’re assuming that they do have the virus which is not true necessarily,” said Mary Garza a translator for the Douglas County Health Department.

The health department says it’s spoken to several companies and organizations about swine flu paranoia. But they won’t tell us which ones have been sending workers home.

Health workers say panicking will bog down doctors who could be taking care of patients who need it.

The Douglas county Health Department runs the “Mi Raza” program.

Source: Cortney Hall

Thursday, Apr 30, 2009 @06:29pm CST