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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, May 8, 2009
Dr. Diana Yu,  Thurston  County  Health Officer, 360-239-2745
Sherri McDonald, Director,  Thurston  County  Public Health & Social Services, 360-239-1520

Probable Case of Swine Flu H1N1 in Thurston County

OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Health has notified the Thurston County Public Health & Social Services Department of a probable case of Swine Flu H1N1, also known as Influenza-A H1N1, in a Thurston County resident.  A probable case means someone was sick with Influenza-A, but tests have not yet confirmed that the type of influenza they had was Swine Flu H1N1.  The majority of probable cases are eventually confirmed as being Swine Flu H1N1 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

"This confirms what we already knew; that Swine Flu H1N1 is present in Thurston County " says Sherri McDonald, Thurston County Public Health and Social Services Director. The Thurston County Health Department has been in contact with the county resident who is likely to have Swine Flu H1N1.  The probable Thurston County case is a 31 year old male who has since recovered. "At this time other illnesses are circulating in our community, including other types of influenza that we usually see" said Dr. Diana Yu the Thurston County Health Officer.  "Having a probable case tells us that Swine Flu H1N1 is now likely one of the illnesses."

Having a confirmed case of Swine Flu H1N1 means that people who are sick should do what they usually would:

  • Stay home from work, childcare, school or public gatherings when sick with a fever and cough.
  • Drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration.
  • 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.
  • Call your health care provider if you or a family member is sick enough to need medical care. 

County residents should continue to take basic precautions that can help prevent the spread of any type of influenza, including Swine Flu H1N1. 

  • Wash your hands often using soap, warm water, and paper towels.  Use a commercially available 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.
  • Avoid large crowds.
  • Do not share snacks, food, drinks or cigarettes with others.

Swine Flu H1N1 is a respiratory disease that is spread from person-to-person by coming into contact with the germs spread when someone who is infected coughs or sneezes.  Symptoms of Swine Flu H1N1 include fever, cough, and sore throat.  In addition, fatigue, lack of appetite, runny nose, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea can occur.  

Swine Flu H1N1 is a new virus.  Because of this people do not have immunity and the flu shots we have now will not protect you from it.  Any type of influenza should be taken seriously, but so far Swine Flu H1N1 has generally been much like the seasonal flu we see every year. 

  • If you are sick with fever and cough, call your health care provider before you go to see them. 
  • Do not delay care if severely ill, but most people who are sick with Swine Flu H1N1 have milder symptoms.
  • You do not need to seek medical care if you are not ill or have mild illness for which you would not ordinarily seek care.

The Swine Flu H1N1 outbreak continues to be closely monitored by the Health Department with support from numerous local partners including the medical community, school districts, emergency responders, and local government.

For the most up-to-date information for Thurston County call the Swine Flu H1N1 Public Information Line 360-709-3080 or visit the Health Department's Swine Flu H1N1 webpage www.co.thurston.wa.us/health

County Commissioners:

Carolina Mejia
District 1

Gary Edwards
District 2

Tye Menser
District 3