First Confirmed Influenza Case Announced

First Confirmed Influenza Case Announced

Nov 19, 2008

The Spokane Regional Health District announced today that they have received confirmation from the Washington State Department of Health's laboratory of the County's first case of influenza. The lab results show that influenza is indeed present in our area, and serves as a reminder that vaccination and simple hygiene practices are important to staying healthy this time of year.

"Influenza can be a very serious, even deadly disease," said Mark Springer, epidemiologist for the Health District. "There is plenty of safe and effective vaccine available, and we urge everyone to protect themselves this flu season."

Last year about a hundred Spokane County residents died from complications of influenza, and thousands were sickened. Many people mistake common, less serious cold viruses for influenza. Influenza can cause fever, body aches, coughing, headaches and can cause serious illness in the very young, the elderly and in people with an underlying health conditions.

The Center's for Disease Control and Prevention recommends flu vaccination for everyone 6 months of age and older. Vaccinations are available at most doctors' offices, many pharmacies and at the Health District's Public Health Clinic (324-1600). Additional precautions include: frequent hand washing, using your sleeve instead of your hand when covering coughs and sneezes, avoiding people who are sick and staying home when you are sick.