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No swine flu cases reported in county

No cases of the swine flu currently ravaging Mexico City have been reported in King County, or in the state of Washington.

A total of 40 cases of the flu have been confirmed in the U.S. with cases in California, Kansas, New York, Ohio and Texas. Six people in Canada have also been reported ill with the disease. Approximately 150 people in Mexico are believed to have died because of the flu, with other cases reported in the United Kingdom and Australia.

The strain of the flu is treatable with Tamiflu, a prescription flu treatment, according to the Center for Disease Control and the county has a stockpile of the drug in case of a pandemic.

Officials with the CDC encourages everyone to practice healthy habits, such as covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing and washing hands often with soap and water. If you are sick stay home from work or school to limit chances of infecting others.

The CDC has said it is working closely with officials in states with confirmed cases, as well as their Mexican counterpart, to continue investigating the spread and cause of the disease. The Department of Health and Human Services declared a public health emergency in the U.S. on Sunday and travelers are being encouraged to avoid nonessential trips to Mexico at this time.

According to a press release, swine flu is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A influenza that regularly causes outbreaks of influenza among pigs. Swine flu viruses do not normally infect humans; however, human infections with swine flu do occur, and cases of human-to-human spread of swine flu viruses have been documented.

For more information, as it becomes available, visit http://www.cdc.gov/swineflu/ or contact the King County Public Health Public Hotline at 206-296-4949.

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