Flu Activity Continues to Rise in Spokane County; Vaccination is Best Protection
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Spokane County adult is first reported flu death for the county, fourth death in state
SPOKANE, Wash. – Although flu activity continues to be considered “low” in Spokane County, the virus claimed the life of a Spokane County adult this week — Spokane County’s first flu-related death this season, according to Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD). The patient was a woman in her 80s who had underlying health conditions.
"Unfortunately, this is an example of how serious flu can be," said Dr. Francisco Velázquez, Spokane County health officer. “Your best chance at protecting yourself and others is to get the flu vaccine.”
The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by viruses that infect the nose, throat and lungs. Some people, such as those over the age of 65, young children, pregnant women, American Indian/Alaska Natives and those with certain health conditions, are at higher risk for serious flu complications.
Three other flu-related deaths occurred in Washington state this season, as reported by the Washington State Department of Health in their Washington State Influenza Update. Four Spokane County residents have been hospitalized with flu this season. At this time last season (2020-2021), there were no hospitalizations or deaths reported in Spokane County; there were three deaths statewide.
People who have the flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:
- Fever or chills
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle or body aches
- Extreme fatigue (very tired)
Flu vaccines are designed to protect against the most common flu viruses. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends everyone 6 months of age and older get immunized against flu. The vaccine promotes antibody protection within two weeks.
Flu shots are available at numerous locations throughout Spokane County, including healthcare provider offices, local pharmacies and grocery stores.
Velázquez says, “Since some vaccines are intended for certain groups, talk to your provider or pharmacist about the vaccine that is best for you.”
For more information about influenza, influenza vaccine, and the differences between the flu and COVID-19, visit Flu Season 2021-2022.