OLYMPIA - State and local public health workers are continuing to look for any sign of the new strain of swine flu in Washington. So far, there are no known cases. As a precautionary measure, within the next week the state expects to receive a supply of antiviral medication from the federal Strategic National Stockpile. The medication will be enough to treat about 230,000 people. The stockpile also includes gloves, along with other personal protection and medical supplies.
Swine influenza (http://www.doh.wa.gov/swineflu) is a respiratory disease of pigs caused by type A influenza virus. It only rarely infects humans who have close contact with pigs. The swine flu virus that's being investigated now is different than the typical swine flu virus, and isn't spread from pigs to humans. This new virus is spread person-to-person. There's no risk from eating properly cooked pork or pork products.
Cases have been confirmed in five U.S. states -Texas, California, Ohio, New York, and Kansas, and in several other countries.
"At this time, there are no cases in Washington, yet this is a serious situation. It's a new virus and we're learning about it in real time," said Washington Secretary of Health Mary Selecky. "We're working with local and federal public health officials to track the disease, share what we learn, and provide the best information and guidance we can to the public."