Skagit County, WA – According to the Skagit County Public Health Department, a second Skagit County resident has died from laboratory-confirmed influenza. The resident, a man in his 30s, died in late January from complications related to both pneumonia and influenza. A history of smoking may have contributed to an increased risk of susceptibility to these infections.
The Skagit County Health Department is working closely with local healthcare partners to monitor and respond to confirmed cases of influenza. The flu is a serious disease, particularly for those people with a high risk of developing flu-related complications if they do get sick. Those specifically at risk include:
- 65 years and older
- People with certain chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease)
- Pregnant women
- Young children
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 Skagit County Health Department has recommended that 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 3-4 days after their illness begins, though some may be able to infect others beginning one day before symptoms develop and up to 5-7 days after becoming sick. Symptoms of the flu include:
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle or body aches
- Fatigue (very tired)
- Some people may have fever, vomiting, and diarrhea
Additionally, the pneumococcal vaccination may be a beneficial preventative measure for those falling within the prior listed risk categories, as well as those who smoke cigarettes. Speak to your primary care provider to find out if either of the two kinds of pneumococcal vaccines available are recommended for you or if you have any questions about the vaccines.
If you have any further questions, please contact the Skagit County Public Health at (360) 416-1500 or visit the CDC’s website.