Flu preparedness: Washington eligible for $7,361,687 in federal grants

 "We have taken immediate steps to address the concerns of swine flu," Gov. Chris Gregoire said. "Last month, I authorized the Department of Health to spend $700,000 to buy additional antiviral medications in preparation for the upcoming flu season. This funding will complement the federal funding, and help our state fight both seasonal flu and swine flu at the same time."

Last month's allocation included $150,000 to help pay for responding to the spring outbreak.

State and local health agencies will share the money. Distribution hasn't yet been determined.

"It's vital that we work closely with our local health partners on what will be a major effort to inform and protect people in our state this flu season," said Secretary of Health Mary Selecky.

Detailed swine flu information is on the Department of Health Web site. Selecky encourages people to wash their hands often, to cover their cough, and to stay home when they're sick.