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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, October 16, 2009
Sherri McDonald, Director Public Health and Social Services, (360) 786-5201 or cell (360) 239-1520. Weekends: (360) 352-8348 or (360) 942-6133

Influenza-Related Death Reported in Thurston County

​OLYMPIA – Thurston County health officials are reporting the influenza-related death of a man in his late 20s in Thurston County.  Although the resident's death was related to influenza, it has not yet been confirmed as the H1N1 virus otherwise known as "swine flu." H1N1 test results from the state Department of Health will likely be available early next week.  The resident was recovering from his bout with influenza but developed a fatal complication.  As in any death, the Thurston County Public Health and Social Services Department is saddened by this development. 

The H1N1 virus is in our community and has been for some time.  The symptoms of all influenza
( H1N1 or seasonal flu) include fever, cough, and sore throat.  In addition, body aches, fatigue, lack of appetite,  nausea, vomiting and diarrhea can occur.  Fever and cough are key.  Signs of more severe illness include difficulty breathing, chest pain and dehydration. Call your health care provider if you or a family member is sick enough to need medical care (e.g., has trouble breathing).    

It is very important that each of us take responsibility for reducing the spread of the H1N1 virus.

  • Stay home from work, childcare, school or public gatherings when you are sick with a fever and cough.
  • Persons with influenza should stay home for 24 hours after the fever is gone without the help of fever reducers.
  • Cough into your sleeve or cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough and sneeze.  Dispose of tissues in a covered container and wash your hands.
  • Wash your hands often using soap, warm water, and paper towels. Use a commercially available (alcohol-based) hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.  
  • Keep your hands away from your nose, eyes and mouth.  
  • Stay away from people who are sick.  
  • Do not share snacks, food, drinks or cigarettes with others.

More information about H1N1 and the vaccine can be found at the Thurston County Public Health web site: http://www.co.thurston.wa.us/health/personalhealth/influenza/swineflu.html or by calling the department's public information line at 360-709-3080.

County Commissioners:

Carolina Mejia
District 1

Gary Edwards
District 2

Tye Menser
District 3