CDC confirms 1 positive H1N1 swine influenza test result in Spokane 2nd test still pending

Spokane, WA
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has notified the State of Washington's Department of Health that the CDC has confirmed 9 cases of H1N1 swine flu in Washington, including 1 from Spokane. An additional 36 probable samples from the state have not yet been tested for confirmation, including the second probable case from our community. The positive test result was from a Spokane man in his 40's.

"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."

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."

As more human cases of (H1N1) swine influenza A virus infection are identified in the United States and internationally, the Spokane Regional Health District continues to work closely with other public health agencies and community partners to implement prevention and control measures. As of yesterday, Washington State reports 45 probable cases, and health officials say that more cases are likely to be identified over the next days and weeks.

Dr. McCullough says that as health officials continue to learn more about the virus and its spread, recommendations for slowing the spread of the illness will likely be modified. "Each day we learn more about this new virus, which helps us to take steps to protect the community's health."

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 (DOH)
Spokane County: Spokane Regional Health District