Kittitas County Emergency Response Information

2009 H1N1 flu (swine flu)

A new strain of influenza, called 2009 H1N1 flu or swine flu, was identified in the United States in April 2009. Those at highest risk of complications from 2009 H1N1 flu include individuals with asthma, diabetes, suppressed immune systems, heart disease, kidney disease, neurocognitive and neuromuscular disorders, or those who are pregnant.


Details (Updated 19 Feb 2010 - Download this as an Information sheet


  • Symptoms of this illness are the same as those for seasonal flu. Most people will have a fever >100 °F and a cough and/or sore throat. Other symptoms may include headache, muscle ache, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and diarrhea. More adults have reported vomiting and diarrhea with 2009 H1N1 flu than with seasonal flu.


  • The Washington State Department of Health has recommended limiting testing since we know 2009 H1N1 flu is circulating in Washington State. Testing is now being used primarily to monitor for increased severity of illness.
  • The only people who are currently being tested for 2009 H1N1 flu by the Washington State Department of Health are people who are hospitalized with flu-like symptoms or people who die that have had flu symptoms immediately before their death.
  • In addition to testing by the Washington State Department of Health, commercial laboratory testing can confirm cases of 2009 H1N1 flu, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that most samples testing positive for flu in the United States are 2009 H1N1 flu.


  • Washington State Department of Health recommends that you treat flu symptoms as you would during a normal flu season. If you would not normally see a health care provider because of the severity of your symptoms, it is not necessary to see a health care provider. If your symptoms worsen, contact a health care professional.
  • Those with higher risk for complications of flu should contact their health care provider if they become ill. This includes pregnant women or women who have given birth within the past two weeks, people 65 and older, people who have chronic health conditions, and children younger than five (but especially children younger than two years old).
  • Most patients with flu-like illness will do well if they are drinking plenty of fluids, taking medications for fever if necessary, and staying home until 24 hours after fever has gone away without the use of fever reducing medications.


  • The best way to prevent 2009 H1N1 flu is vaccination. A vaccine has been developed and tested, and began arriving in Kittitas County on October 13 for use in those 6 months and older. There should be enough vaccine for everyone who wishes to be vaccinated to do so by early December.
  • The vaccine to protect against 2009 H1N1 flu is a separate vaccine than the seasonal flu vaccine that is currently available.
  • Vaccination opened to all county residents on December 12.
  • Vaccination is strongly encouraged for certain priority groups identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These groups are:
    • pregnant women,
    • health care and emergency services personnel,
    • people who live with or care for children less than 6 months of age,
    • people between the ages of 6 months through 24 years of age, and
    • people from ages 25 through 64 years who are at higher risk for 2009 H1N1 because of chronic health disorders or compromised immune systems.
  • Use your normal route for immunizations. If you have a local health care provider, contact your provider to see if vaccine is available. You can also contact your pharmacy. If you do not have a local health care provider or pharmacy, contact the Kittitas County Public Health Department at (509) 962-7515.
  • Children 6 months through 9 years of age will need to receive two doses of vaccine at least 28 days apart to be most effective.

School-based Vaccination Clinics

  • School-based immunization clinics began in early November.
  • Vaccination clinics were held at each local school during school hours.
  • Follow-up clinics to administer the recommended second dose of vaccine to children up through (and including) age nine occurred in January.
  • There was no cost for vaccines given during school-based clinics.


  • Anyone who is sick with a respiratory illness and fever should stay home, not go to work or school, wash their hands often, and cover their cough/sneeze. Stay home until 24 hours after fever has gone away without the use of fever reducing medications.
  • The best way to protect yourself and others from illness is to:
    • Avoid contact with ill individuals;
    • Stay home from work or school when you are sick;
    • Cover your cough and/or sneeze; and
    • Wash your hands many times a day.
  • It is recommended that all individuals who have influenza-like illness wear a face mask when they must enter crowded areas, such as a health care facility. Those with influenza-like illness should not enter crowded areas unless absolutely necessary, especially without a face mask.
  • If you are planning to visit a health care provider and you have influenza-like illness symptoms, call ahead to request a mask to wear in the health care facility.
  • Health care providers treating individuals with influenza-like illness are being recommended to use special face masks called N95.

Additional Information and Resources


April 2009