WA State Dept. of Health Changing Swine Flu Counting Method - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

WA State Dept. of Health Changing Swine Flu Counting Method

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KENNEWICK, Wash.--  The Washington State Department of Health is gearing up for some changes on its website.  The changes revolve around their swine flu information page.  They're not going to continue posting exact numbers of confirmed cases in the state.  Instead, they're only going to post data about the number of hospitalizations and deaths from the H1N1 virus.

There are currently 547 confirmed cases in Washington.  Health Department staff say swine flu has become so widespread, it's hard to keep up with counting the cases.  They would rather concentrate on other things.  Spokesman Donn Moyer says, "There's little value in trying to track down every case now.  We can put our valuable resources into focusing on those cases that could hit people very hard.  For example, people with underlying health conditions and end up hospitalized or perhaps even dying."

Moyer also says the flu activity is higher than normal for this time of year, but he sees it slowing down soon.  The Health Department is focusing on the fall, when the flu is expected come back in big numbers.

The website changes start this Friday, and will be updated every Friday after that.