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Swine flu arrives early in Inland Northwest

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The flu arrived early this year and has sickened people across the Inland Northwest as the nasty strain sometimes called swine flu spreads.

About 70 people — most with chronic illness or respiratory issues such as asthma — have been hospitalized in Spokane.

The familiar culprit is the H1N1 influenza that created a pandemic in 2009, said Dr. Joel McCullough, health officer for the Spokane Regional Health District.

Hardest hit so far are children, young adults and people in their…

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