Skagit County, WA– On Monday, January 8th, 2018, Skagit County Public Health was notified of a laboratory-confirmed influenza death that occurred in Skagit County. This is the first confirmed death in Skagit County for this flu season.
The woman who died was older than 65 years old and had chronic medical conditions that increased her risk of complications from the flu. She passed away in late December of 2017.
Skagit County Public Health is working closely with local healthcare partners to monitor and respond to confirmed cases of influenza according to a press release from Joanne Lynn.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), seasonal flu viruses can be detected year-round in the United States but are most common during the fall and winter. The exact timing and duration of flu seasons can vary, but influenza activity often begins to increase in October, peaks between December and February, and can last as late as May.
The flu is a serious disease, particularly for those people at high risk of developing flu-related complications if they get sick. Those specifically at risk include citizens who are 65 years of age or older, people with chronic medical conditions, such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease, pregnant women and young children.
The best way to prevent the flu is by getting vaccinated each year. Contact your healthcare provider or local pharmacy for more information about receiving a flu vaccine.
People with the flu are most contagious in the first three to four days after their illness begins, though some may be able to infect others beginning one day before symptoms begin to develop and up-to five to seven days after becoming sick.
Flu symptoms include, sore throat, muscle or body aches, headache, cough, feeling very tired (fatigue) and some people may have a fever, vomiting or diarrhea.
If you have further questions about the flu, you are encouraged to contact Skagit County Public Health at (360) 416-1500. You can also learn more by visiting the CDC’s website by clicking here.