No known cases of swine flu in Washington state

No cases of swine flu have been detected in Washington state, according to a press release by the state’s Department of Health, and the risk of exposure is currently low.
Both the Department of Health and the national Centers for Disease Control have issued several press releases on the swine flu outbreak and posted informational Web pages regarding the situation.
As of this morning, the CDC had identified approximately 40 cases of swine flu nationwide, with no identified cases in the state of Washington.
Although the risk of people of contracting the swine flu in Pullman  is low, WSU’s Pandemic/Contagious Disease Group is monitoring the data on the international flu outbreak and any possible affects this could have on WSU. (Updates will be provided on the WSU Alert site.)
Illness and symptoms from the new swine flu strain are “no more severe than other influenza,” according to the state Department of Health.
Below is a list of facts released by the state Department of Health, as well as links to additional information via the CDC.
WSDOH Swine Flu Facts
Federal health officials are investigating several cases of a new strain of swine flu. This new strain of influenza virus appears to have developed from a flu virus found in swine.

What can you do to stay healthy

There are everyday actions people can take to
stay healthy.

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue
    when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue
    in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water,
    especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol
    -based hands cleaners are also effective.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
    Germs spread that way.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
    Influenza is thought to spread mainly person-
    to-person through Coughing or sneezing of
    infected people.
  • If you get sick, CDC recommends that you
    stay home from work or school and limit
    contact with others to keep from infecting

There are no cases in Washington. Cases have been reported in Texas and Southern California. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has also identified cases of influenza in Mexico that are due to this new strain.

State and local health are monitoring the national investigation and have notified health care providers around the state that a new strain of swine flu has been identified. The DOH is in close contact with the CDC and are receiving regular updates.
In Washington, it’s normal each flu season to have a few strains of influenza that cannot be completely identified and samples are sent to CDC for identification. We’ve had a few this flu season; all of them were submitted to CDC for testing before the new swine flu strain was reported.
We have no reason to believe there are cases of the news strain of swine flu in our state.
Anyone who is sick with a respiratory illness and fever should stay home, wash their hands often, cover their cough, and see a health care provider.
According to federal health officials, the people who’ve had this strain of flu recovered.
Illness and symptoms from the new swine flu strain are no more severe than other influenza; standard antiviral medication such as Tamiflu is an effective treatment.

What should I do if I get sick?

If you become ill and experience any of the following warning signs, seek emergency medical care.
In children emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:
    * Fast breathing or trouble breathing
    * Bluish skin color
    * Not drinking enough fluids
    * Not waking up or not interacting
    * Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
    * Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough
    * Fever with a rash
In adults, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:
    * Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
    * Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
    * Sudden dizziness
    * Confusion
    * Severe or persistent vomiting
How serious is swine flu infection?

Like seasonal flu, swine flu in humans can vary in severity from mild to severe. Between 2005 until January 2009, 12 human cases of swine flu were detected in the U.S. with no deaths occurring. However, swine flu infection can be serious. In September 1988, a previously healthy 32-year-old pregnant woman in Wisconsin was hospitalized for pneumonia after being infected with swine flu and died 8 days later. A swine flu outbreak in Fort Dix, New Jersey occurred in 1976 that caused more than 200 cases with serious illness in several people and one death.
Can I get swine influenza from eating or preparing pork?

No. Swine influenza viruses are not spread by food. You cannot get swine influenza from eating pork or pork products. Eating properly handled and cooked pork products is safe.

None of the cases have had contact with ill or dying pigs. It doesn’t appear that the virus was transmitted from pigs to people.

The name “swine flu” comes from the genes of the virus that show the virus evolved from a swine influenza virus.
There’s no risk from eating properly cooked pork or pork products.
CDC has issued an “Outbreak Advisory” regarding travel to Mexico. This is to inform people that there’s a respiratory illness outbreak. There are no travel restrictions at this time.
Links to other flu news
For additional information, see the following related links:

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