The Klickitat County Health Department (KCHD) has confirmed four cases of influenza A.
The flu samples were sent to the state for further testing to determine if they are H1N1 flu (swine flu) cases.
One case tested negative for H1N1 flu, the other cases are still pending. As of May 11, 2009 Klickitat County has no confirmed cases of H1N1 flu.
Cases of H1N1 flu in Washington State continue to rise. A Snohomish County man in his 30s with underlying heart conditions died last week with what appears to be complications of H1N1 flu. This is the first death in Washington associated with the new flu strain.
"This death is tragic. Our thoughts are with all those affected by this man's passing," said Governor Chris Gregoire. "It's a sobering reminder that influenza is serious, and can be fatal. I know our public health agencies are doing everything they can to track and monitor this outbreak and to protect the people of our state."
While this marks the first death in this state related to swine flu, the case counts are expected to continue rising for some time to come.
The new H1N1 strain of swine flu has been similar to seasonal flu in symptoms, spread, and response to treatment. Typically, people with existing health conditions are at greater risk of serious health effects from influenza.
Flu symptoms often include fever, muscle aches, cough, and sometimes trouble breathing. It's important for people who are sick with flu-like symptoms to stay home or go to a health care provider if they become seriously ill. The best thing people in our state can do is to pay attention to their own health.
The Klickitat County Health Department continues to recommend that people of all ages practice good hygiene, which includes: covering your nose and mouth when you sneeze or cough, wash your hands frequently with soap and water, avoid close contact with people who are sick, and stay home from work or school if you have flu-like symptoms.
For up-to-date information about H1N1 flu visit the Klickitat County Health Department's website at www.klickitatcounty.org/Health/.