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Yakima County man dies from Swine flu

The Yakima Health District has been notified that a Yakima County resident infected with the Swine flu has died.

District officials say the patient, a man in his thirties, had underlying health conditions that put him at risk for complications from the new virus strain.

There have been 12 other deaths related to Swine flu in Washington.

Since Aug. 1, seven people have tested positive for Swine flu in Yakima County. Public health officials throughout the state are focusing monitoring on people who are severely ill.

As a result, the number of reported cases reflects only a small portion of cases actually occurring in the county. People who are hospitalized with influenza-A can be tested for Swine flu by the state Department of Health.

Others can be tested at commercial laboratories around the state.

The health district is also seeing higher than normal levels of influenza in the county for this time of year. The Washington State Department of Health estimates that almost all of the cases of influenza type A being seen in the state are Swine flu.

Because of increased influenza circulation in the community, the health district continues to encourage the following prevention methods to reduce the spread of the illness:

• Cover your mouth and nose with your sleeve, elbow, or tissue when you cough or sneeze

• Wash your hands with soap and water frequently, especially before eating or touching your face.

Alcohol based hand sanitizers are also effective if you are unable to access running water and soap.

• If you are sick, stay at home and limit contact with others.

Anyone experiencing flu symptoms (fever, cough, body aches, and sore throat) should contact a health care

provider. Please call before going to the healthcare facility to avoid unnecessary exposure to others.

For more information on the Swine flu, visit the Yakima Health District's website at www.yakimapublichealth.org then click on the red "Swine Influenza Info" link.

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