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Nine new probable cases of swine flu in Washington

SEATTLE – Nine more probable cases of swine flu were reported in Washington state on Saturday, bringing to 25 the number of probable cases in five counties.

The state Department of Health reports that 15 of the probable cases are in King County, which includes Seattle; six are in Snohomish County and one in Skagit County north of Seattle; one is in Pierce County, which includes Tacoma; and two are in Spokane County.

None of the cases had been confirmed, but Health Department spokesman Tim Church said the state should get formal test results back from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention early this week.

The number of probable cases jumped to 25 from 16 in just a day, as samples from clinics and other health facilities around the state were tested. The state figure includes cases in which samples were sent to the state lab for testing, and then sent to federal health officials for positive identification.

Meanwhile, the Department of Health said Saturday that truckloads of medication and other supplies were arriving in the state as a precaution in case they are needed to treat people with swine flu.

The supplies are from the federal government’s Strategic National Stockpile, and include enough antiviral medication – Tamiflu and Relenza – to treat about 230,000 people, the Health Department said. The medications must be prescribed, the department said.