SPOKANE, Wash. – As the flu season winds down for the year, government agencies have reported 278 people have died from the flu this season in Washington and Idaho.
Spokane County alone saw 32 deaths, the Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD) reported. In Idaho, the Panhandle District reported 38 deaths for so far in the 2017-2018 season.
North Idaho made up a significant portion of the flu deaths for the state, making up almost half of the total 78. In February, Idaho health officials said of all the emergency room visits to emergency rooms in Idaho, 7.2 percent were for flu-related symptoms. That's significantly higher than the baseline of 2.4 percent.
SRHD officials said more than 500 people were hospitalized this season in Spokane with flu-related symptoms, higher than any past year since the district started recording the statistics in 2009.