SPOKANE, WA -- Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD) is reporting that the number of probable cases of H1N1 swine influenza has risen to 35 in Washington State, including the two cases in Spokane County. Washington State has recieved it's first shipment of antiviral medications from the Strategic National Stockpile.

The Health District is investigating contacts of the two likely cases, and believes that as this influenza appears to be spreading easily among people that additional cases in our community are likely. National public health officials say that so far there is no indication that the H1N1 is worse that the seasonal flu that circulates every year. That said they caution that this is still something that people should take seriously; because although it causes mild illness in most people, more serious symptoms are possible.

As this is a new influenza virus, the Health District is continuing to aggressively monitor the situation and illness reports in Spokane and say that because the illness is easily spread, we can expect to see more H1N1 illness in our community. The community is encouraged to continue health practices, including covering coughs and sneezes, washing hands regularly and thoroughly, and staying home if sick.

The SRHD's Call Center will be reactivated if conditions warrant. 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.

International World Health Organization

National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

State of Washington Washington State Department of Health

Spokane County Spokane Regional Health District (visit "In the News")