BONNER COUNTY—Flu related complications led to the death of a Bonner County man in his 50s in early January. The death was the first reported in the five northern counties related to the flu in the 2013-2014 season.
The man suffered from ongoing health problems that put him in a high-risk category for flu complications.
“Our hearts go out to his family,” said Lora Whalen, Panhandle Health District director. “This serves to remind us how virulent the flu virus is.”
The flu picked up its pace in northern Idaho in December and January. More people were visiting their doctors each week with flu-like symptoms, according to the Pandhandle Health District. Those symptoms are fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headaches, chills and fatigue.
Lab tests show that H1N1, the flu virus in the 2009 pandemic, is the virus most identified in the positive flu tests so far.
The 2013-2014 flu vaccine targets H1N1 and several other flu viruses.
Spokane Regional Health District reported the flu-related death of a woman in her 40s in January. The woman is the fourth flu-related death in Eastern Washington in the 2013-2014 flu season.
A limited number of flu shots are available at PHD offices, so calling first is recommended.