The Klickitat County Health Department (KCHD) is aware of the swine flu situation in the United States, Mexico, and Canada and is closely monitoring the information provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Washington State Department of Health.
There are no confirmed cases of swine flu (swine influenza) in Klickitat County or Washington State. Health officials at KCHD are working closely with local providers to monitor and respond to any potential cases in Klickitat County.
As of April 27, 2009, swine flu infections have been confirmed in 40 people living in California, Texas, Kansas, Ohio and New York City. No deaths due to swine flu infection have been identified in the United States.
Swine flu is a virus that causes respiratory illness. It was originally found in pigs and then mutated to cause illness in humans. The virus implicated now appears to be transmitted from person to person. A person cannot become infected with swine flu by eating pork and the virus cannot be transmitted from pigs to humans.
According to the CDC, swine flu is thought to spread like other respiratory diseases, through the coughing and sneezing of infected people.
The symptoms of swine flu, which are similar to symptoms people experience during the normal flu season, include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headaches, chills, fatigue, diarrhea and vomiting.
People experiencing these symptoms should see their health care provider and share their travel history with their doctor if they have recently visited Mexico or affected areas of the US.
While there is no indication of immediate threat of swine flu infection in Klickitat County, KCHD encourages people to practice good hygiene to help prevent any respiratory infection.
Health officials recommend the following precautions:
Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or your upper sleeve when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it;
Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective;
Try to avoid close contact with sick people;
Stay home to avoid spreading germs if you or your family members are coughing, sneezing or have aches or fever
Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
For up-to-date information about swine flu visit the Klickitat County Health Department's website at www.klickitatcounty.org/Health/ or call 773-4565 or 493-1558.