Health & Science

FLU: No positive cases found in Benton, Franklin counties

None of the flu samples sent from Benton and Franklin counties are positive for swine flu, the Benton-Franklin Health District reported today.

Of the seven samples sent to the state lab for testing in the past two weeks, five were negative for H1N1 flu and two were untestable, the health district said.

The good news for Benton and Franklin counties came as the state’s number of confirmed cases climbed to 83, the state Department of Health reported.

The H1N1 strain has been confirmed in Spokane, King, Snohomish, Pierce, Clark, Thurston, Skagit and Whatcom counties.

Swine flu also was confirmed in two Umatilla County residents this week.

The Benton-Franklin Health District said the flu’s severity and spread could change at any time, and it’s important to continue the prevention of disease by frequent handwashing, covering coughs and sneezes and staying home when you’re sick.

Some influenza scientists believe this virus might slow down during the summer and return in the fall along with the return of the typical seasonal flu, the health district said.

The health district said it is planning for the fall influenza season in case the H1N1 flu returns in the fall or continues its spread over the next few months.

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