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Swine flu reported in King County on Wednesday

Three potential cases of the swine flu currently ravaging Mexico City were reported in King County on Wednesday, along with two in Snohomish County and one in Spokane County. The cases have yet to be confirmed, according to Public Health — Seattle & King County.

A total of 109 cases of the flu have been confirmed in the United States with cases in California, Kansas, New York, Ohio and Texas, among others. A toddler in Texas was the first in the United States to die from the flu. The World Health Organization raised the alert level to phase 5 of six, signaling a global pandemic was imminent.

The strain is treatable with Tamiflu, a prescription treatment, and the county has a stockpile of the drug.

Officials with the Center for Disease Control 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. It is recommended that people who are sick stay home.

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

For more information: www.cdc.gov/swineflu or contact the Public Health Public Hotline, (206) 296-4949.

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