Doctors see flu numbers go down in Spokane County in February



Posted on February 18, 2014 at 7:49 PM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 18 at 8:01 PM

SPOKANE, Wash.--The flu season was so bad in January that health officials thought it could lead to the worst flu season in Spokane history. There were 48 people that had died in Washington State from flu related symptoms by February. There were eight deaths in Spokane County.

Only 15 people were hospitalized in one month, less than doctors expected. They said they were seeing fewer people come in with the flu in February.

”It's died off dramatically from a month ago,” said Dr. William Lockwood, the Medical Director at CHAS clinic.

READ: Flu sends 156 people to Spokane hospitals

Dr. Lockwood said he was seeing more patients come in with the flu in January than he had seen in years.

"It was fairly severe when it was here, more hospitalizations than usual. Particularly in people over the age of 50,” said Dr. Lockwood.

Dr. Lockwood said the drop in one month could be thanks to more people getting the flu shot. He said only a handful of people were coming into the CHAS clinic on Maple and Garland with the virus in February.

"Right now, it's dropped off considerably. Just in the clinics we're seeing a lot less people that are really severely ill,” said Dr. Lockwood.

Doctors at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center were seeing the same trend.

In 2009 there were 53 people killed from the flu and pneumonia virus and 230 in the hospital. In the 2013-2014 season, there were 172 people hospitalized in Spokane County.

Dr. Lockwood said the flu season could last until April.

"We can cross our fingers that this is truly the end of the season and hopefully that will be the case,” said Dr. Lockwood.