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Swine flu hits 19 states, including Washington

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WASHINGTON - The flu is on the rise for much of the country, including Washington state.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said 19 states have high numbers of flu cases, compared to only nine last week and the number of children who have died has reached 13.

The predominant flu strain this year is H1N1, also known as swine flu.

Area health experts said it's normal to see more flu cases right after the holidays. "Typically our flu activity does peak sometime in January or February,” Dr. Amy Person said.

The CDC says about half of children who die from the flu have pre-existing health conditions, the other half are otherwise health.

There are still months of the flu season left to get through. Health leaders say it is not too late for children or adults to get vaccinated.

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