First Influenza Case of Season Confirmed

First Influenza Case of Season Confirmed

Oct 22, 2010

First Influenza Case of Season Confirmed

Stevens County, Wash., and Spokane County, Wash. – Oct 22, 2010
– Northeast Tri County Health District and Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD) jointly announced today the season’s first confirmed case of influenza. The case was reported through SRHD’s hospital surveillance system. Sacred Heart Medical Center diagnosed the Stevens County resident with a laboratory-confirmed case of influenza A.

The case comes several weeks after the start of the typical influenza season, which generally runs from October through March, often peaking in February. At least 19 states have already confirmed sporadic cases of influenza—a contagious respiratory illness that can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. Some people, such as older people, young children, and people with certain health conditions, are at high risk for serious flu complications. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting vaccinated each year. 

“All indicators point to minimal flu activity so far, but the first confirmed case means that the virus is in our community,” said Dr. Joel McCullough, SRHD public health director. “Getting a flu shot and washing your hands are the two most valuable weapons in preventing the spread of the disease.”

This year, it's recommended that all people 6 months of age and older get immunized against flu. Unlike last year, people age 9 and over only need a single shot of flu vaccine to protect against three strains of the flu, including the H1N1 virus. The vaccine achieves full antibody protection within two weeks.

NE Tri County Health District said flu shots are available at Northeast Washington Medical Group, NE Washington Health Clinics, Safeway in Colville, Akers in Chewelah, NE Tri County Health District and the VA Hospital in Spokane.

In Ferry County, flu shots are available at the Republic clinic, Curlew Clinic, and NE Tri County Health District. In Pend Oreille County, they are available at NE Tri County Health District, Safeway in Newport, Newport Family Medicine and Newport Family Health Center.

The Spokane Regional Health District’s website,, has the most current information regarding Spokane County clinic locations and hours. You can also check the SRHD Flu Hotline at 509-324-1643.