SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. — The first flu-related death has been reported in Spokane County.
According to the Spokane Regional Health District (SRHD), although flu activity has been low in the region, the virus claimed the life of a woman in her 80s with “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.”
According to a press release from SRHD, people over the ages of 65, young children, pregnant women, American Indian/Alaska Natives and those with certain health conditions are at greater risk for flu-related complications.
Three other flu-related deaths occurred in Washington this season. At this time last season, there were no hospitalizations or deaths reported in Spokane County, but there were three flu deaths statewide.
SRHD reported that people who have the flu often experience the following symptoms:
- Fever or chills
- Sore Throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle or body aches
- Extreme fatigue
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends everyone six months of age and older to get immunized against the flu. According to SRHD, the vaccine promotes antibody protection within two weeks.
Spokane County residents can find flu shots at numerous locations in the area, including healthcare provider offices, local pharmacies and grocery stores.
“Since some vaccines are intended for certain groups, talk to your provider or pharmacist about the vaccine that is best for you,” Dr. Velázquez said.
For more information regarding influenza, the influenza vaccine and differences between the flu and COVID-19, visit SRHD’s website.