Health officials identify probable case of H1N1 in Kootenai County - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather

Health officials identify probable case of H1N1 in Kootenai County

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KOOTENAI COUNTY, Idaho. - The Idaho State Laboratory sent Idaho's first probable case of H1N1 (swine) flu to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Thursday for confirmation.

The patient is a Kootenai County woman in her 60s who recently traveled to Texas. The woman is recovering and did not require hospitalization.

"This is a strong reminder to everyone of the importance of practicing respiratory etiquette and good hygiene to protect themselves and others," said Lora Whalen, director of Family and Community Health for the Panhandle Health District (PHD). "Cover your cough and sneezes, throw used tissues in the trash, wash your hands well and often, stay home if you're ill and see your medical provider if your symptoms warrant.  It's also important to maintain an appropriate distance between yourself and others who might be coughing or sneezing.  These are all very common sense things that we can do to prevent the spread of flu."

PHD will operate an information hotline at 208-415-5199 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday to answer the public's questions on the H1N1 (swine) flu. Panhandle Health District is working with health care providers, schools, governments and more in the region to monitor the situation.

About 7,000 doses of antiviral medication are heading to northern Idaho from the federal stockpile. The antivirals should arrive by next week. The medication is for people diagnosed with H1N1 flu and will be made available as a patient's doctor prescribes it.