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GENERAL VALLEY NEWS

First flu-related death confirmed in Skagit County
January 09, 2018



Chronicle staff

(SKAGIT COUNTY, WA.) -- Skagit County Public Health announced on Tuesday it had been notified of a laboratory-confirmed Influenza A death on Monday, Jan. 8.

This is the first confirmed flue death in Skagit County for this flu season, said the health agency's statement.

"The Skagit County woman, older than 65 years, died in late December. She had chronic medical conditions that increased her risk of complications from flu," said Joanne Lynn of Skagit County Public Health who added that the health agency 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 at high risk of developing flu-related complications if they get sick," said Lynn.

Those specifically at risk include the following:

65 years and older

People with certain chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease)

Pregnant women

Young children

Health officials say 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 develop and up to five to seven days after becoming sick. Symptoms of the flu include:

Cough

Sore throat

Runny or stuffy nose

Muscle or body aches

Headaches

Fatigue (very tired)

Some people may have fever, vomiting and diarrhea

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 of any given year.






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