Woman in Her 50s Dies from H1N1 Swine Influenza Health District Urging Prevention, Including Vaccination

Another Spokane County resident has died from complications linked to the H1N1 swine influenza. The woman in her 50s had no known underlying health conditions. 

"We are saddened to learn that the H1N1 swine flu virus has led to another death in our community," said Dr. Joel McCullough, Health Officer for Spokane Regional Health District. "It is a tragic reminder of how important it is to be vigilant in preventing the spread of the flu and for people in high-risk groups to get vaccinated." 

Although most cases of influenza can be safely managed at home, anyone who has an underlying health condition who develops symptoms of the flu should contact their health care provider.  About 70 percent of people who have been hospitalized with the 2009 H1N1 virus have had one or more medical conditions previously recognized as placing people at "high risk" of serious flu-related complications. 

H1N1 flu symptoms typically include:

  • Fever – often over 101
  • And cough or sore throat
  • runny or stuffy nose
  • body aches, headache
  • fatigue
  • diarrhea, nausea and/or vomiting (less common symptoms)

If someone becomes ill and experiences any of the following warning signs, they should seek emergency medical care. 

In children, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:

  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing
  • Bluish or gray skin color
  • Not drinking enough fluids
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
  • Not waking up or not interacting
  • Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
  • Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and a worse cough

In adults, emergency warning signs that need urgent medical attention include:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
  • Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and a worse cough

The Health District has begun shipping H1N1 injectable vaccine  to many area health care providers and will be offering a free public clinic for people who qualify for the H1N1 nasal spray vaccine. The Health District will be scheduling appointments for 3,000 nasal spray vaccinations for the upcoming free public clinics:

  • Valley YMCA Saturday, November 7, 9 am - 3 pm
  • North YMCA Saturday, November 14, 9 am - 3 pm

Those who can make an appointment include:

  • Healthy people ages 2-24
  • Healthy adults up to age 49 who are health care workers
  • Healthy people up to age 49 who care for or live with an infant under the age of 6 months old

To make an appointment call 324-1648 at 9am, Tuesday November 3rd and Wednesday November 4th. 

As weekly vaccine shipments arrive, they will be distributed to area hospitals, health care providers and other venues where priority groups can receive the vaccination. People are urged to contact their health care provider to see if they can receive a vaccination at their primary health care office. Once efforts have been made to vaccinate prioritized groups, the vaccine may become available to everyone who would like to protect themselves through vaccination.

Click here for current flu clinic information, or call our recorded information line: (509) 324-1495. 

Spokane Regional Health District provides individuals with disabilities reasonable accommodations.  Requests for accommodations may be made by calling 324-1511 or TDD 324-1464.