Swine flu already hitting W. Wash. communities

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by By ERIC WILKINSON / KING5 News

NWCN.com

Posted on October 20, 2009 at 11:14 AM

PUYALLUP, Wash. - The Flesher family from Puyallup is among the latest to test positive for swine flu. The family's two children, ages 6 and 5, were diagnosed with the virus Tuesday, according to their grandmother Dotty Flesher.

"I thought, 'This is unreal. Not us!" said Flesher. "I thought where did we go, where did we get it, where have we been, what did we touch?'"

The three "Woodcreek" clinics in Puyallup have reported a startling 179 likely H1N1 cases in one week.

Statewide, between April and September 19th, state health officials say there have been 174 hospitalizations due to swine flu. In the two weeks between september 19th and october 3rd there were already 96 hospitalizations.

Health officials attribute some of that to kids being back in school, but they're concerned about H1N1 hitting so hard so early.

"We don't know where the peak is for H1N1," says Pierce County Health Department spokesman John Britt. "We're certainly at the very front end of the epidemic."

There have been spotty shortages of tamiflu reported at various pharmacies around the region - but health officials say there is no need for concern and there should be plenty of both the vaccine and tamiflu to go around.

As for the flesher kids, they're expected to be okay - and grandma says to heed her advice.

"Get kids on the medication as soon as you can. But they have to be diagnosed soon enough. That's so important. Get t hem to the doctor and get them tested."

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