For more information, contact Kim Papich, SRHD public information officer, (509) 324-1539

SPOKANE, Wash. – Oct 3, 2012 – Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD) announced today the season’s first local case of influenza A. A male in his 40s was laboratory confirmed to have influenza after being seen at a local outpatient clinic. This indicates flu is beginning to circulate in our community. In light of this, 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.

 
“This confirmed case 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 vaccine for anyone who wants to protect themselves from the flu."
 
Flu shots are available at the SRHD Public Health Clinic, as well as numerous other locations throughout Spokane County including health care provider offices, 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 accepts Medicare, Medicaid, cash and credit cards.

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.
 
Last flu season, 138 people were hospitalized due to flu in Spokane County. 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 or www.srhd.org. Spokane Regional Health District’s website also offers comprehensive, updated information about Spokane Regional Health District and its triumphs in making Spokane a safer and healthier community. Become a fan of SRHD on Facebook to receive local safety and wellness tips. You can also follow us on Twitter @spokanehealth.