First Case of Flu Locally Underlines Importance of Flu Shots, National Influenza Vaccination Week
SPOKANE, Wash. – Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD) announced today the season’s first local case of influenza B. A health care provider at Valley Hospital diagnosed flu in a Spokane County child with a rapid flu test. The case was not culture confirmed, but indicates flu is likely beginning to circulate in our community. In light of this, and as part of National Influenza Vaccination Week, Dec. 4-10, 2011, SRHD is reminding residents that getting a flu shot is the single best way for people to protect not only themselves against the flu, but their loved ones as well.
“National Influenza Vaccination Week provides an important opportunity for our community to rally around the importance of getting an annual flu shot,” said SRHD health officer Dr. Joel McCullough. “There is plenty of time and vaccine for anyone who wants to protect themselves from the flu."
Last flu season, 146 people were hospitalized due to flu in Spokane County.
Flu shots are available at the SRHD Public Health Clinic, as well numerous other locations throughout Spokane County including health care provider offices, and local pharmacies and grocery stores.
Appointments for the SRHD Public Health Clinic can be made by calling (509) 324-1600. The clinic is located at 1101 W. College Ave in Spokane. The fee for a flu shot is $27, adult or child. The fee for children’s flu shots may be reduced depending on family size/income. The clinic also offers high-dose vaccine for those 65 years and older for $47. The clinic also accepts Medicare, Medicaid, cash and credit cards.
National Influenza Vaccination Week is a national observance that was established to highlight the importance of continuing influenza vaccination, as well as fostering greater use of flu vaccine after the holiday season into January and beyond.
This year, it's recommended that all people 6 months of age and older get immunized against flu. The vaccine promotes antibody protection within two weeks. The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by viruses that infect the nose, throat and lungs. It 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 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that from the 1976-1977 season to the 2006-2007 flu season, flu-associated deaths ranged from a low of about 3,000 to a high of about 49,000 people.
For more information about influenza and influenza vaccine visit www.cdc.gov/flu and www.srhd.org. The Spokane Regional Health District website has the most current information regarding Spokane County clinic locations and hours. The SRHD website also offers comprehensive, updated information about Spokane Regional Health District and its triumphs in making Spokane a safer and healthier community.