CDC confirms Spokane swine flu case
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SEATTLE, Wash. - The CDC has confirmed nine cases of swine flu in Washington state. State Health Secretary Mary Selecky said Tuesday that seven of the confirmed cases are in King County, one is in Snohomish County and one is in Spokane County.
The first confirmed case is in the man in his 40s who was identified as having the first probable case in Spokane. The second probable case of the flu was identified in that man's 5-year-old son. That case has not been confirmed.
"We know that this virus is in our community, and the important thing for people to do is to try to avoid getting or spreading the H1N1 swine virus," said Dr. Joel McCullough, Health Officer for the Spokane Regional Health District. "Although the virus is primarily causing mild symptoms, serious symptoms can occur. It is really important for people to do simple things to stop the spread of germs, including staying home from work or school if ill."
The CDC has been confirming about 99 percent of the probable cases from other states, so Washington officials say they expect most of the 45 probable cases listed by the state will be confirmed by the CDC.
Dr. McCullough stresses that for most people who catch the H1N1 swine flu virus, symptoms can be managed at home through proper hydration and fever reduction. People should contact their health care provider by phone if they have serious symptoms such as high fever (102), difficulty breathing, or other symptoms, which would normally cause a person to seek medical care.
Dr. McCullough cautions that getting an accurate number of those who are ill with this virus is getting to be more difficult. "People naturally want to know how many cases of this virus are here, but the confirmation process can take several weeks, so a reliable count of cases is just not possible. Also, there are likely many people who have mild symptoms who are not seeking medical care."
A 24-hour line is available at 1-800-CDC-INFO. The Washington State Department of Health has launched a new menu-driven recorded line with basic information, symptoms, prevention, treatment and what to do if you're sick: 1-888-703-4364
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