Grant County woman dies from influenza complications; Health Dep - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Grant County woman dies from influenza complications; Health Department pushes flu shots

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Public heath experts believe this is one of the more concerning flu seasons on record nationwide. Public heath experts believe this is one of the more concerning flu seasons on record nationwide.
SPOKANE, Wash. -

It's never to late to get the flu vaccine, according to the The Grant County Health District. 

The GCHD was notified this week that a Grant County woman has died from influenza complications. “We are deeply saddened to learn of this loss,” states Dr. Alexander Brzezny, Grant County Health Officer. He adds, “Since the beginning of December, there has been a significant increase in influenza cases in all age groups in Grant County.”

According to the Washington State Department of Health, there have been 16 other Washington State residents who have died this flu season. During the 2013-2014 flu season, 79 Washington State residents died due to flu complications. Over the course of 30 years, the CDC estimate a range from a low of about 3,000 to a high of about 49,000 deaths of people per year in the United States. Some people, such as older people, young children, pregnant women, and people with certain health conditions, are at high risk for serious flu complications. Public heath experts believe this is one of the more concerning flu seasons on record nationwide.

While the flu virus can come in different shapes and forms, the vaccine covers three other types of viruses. Since there are multiple variations of the flu, the vaccine will likely provide some protection and lesson the severity and duration of flu symptoms.

The symptoms of the flu include, temperature greater than 100F with a cough and /or sore throat. Those with the flu may also experience headaches, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, fatigue (tiredness), and sometimes vomiting and diarrhea. Not everyone with the flu will have a fever. People who have trouble breathing need to seek immediate emergency care or contact their doctor.

The GCHD says it is not too late to get your flu shot and stop you from getting the flu. Flu shots are widely available in Grant County. Call your local clinic or pharmacy to schedule a flu shot. Take care of yourself when you are sick. Both children and adults who are diagnosed with the flu by a doctor or who have a cough with a fever should remain at home until the fever and cough are gone to avoid spreading flu to others.

Now that the flu is here, GCHD reminds everyone:

· People with the flu can make others sick 1 day before symptoms appear and up to 5 days after symptoms begin.

· Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing.

· Use tissues and throw them away in nearest garbage can.

· Wash your hands (with warm water and soap or alcohol-based hand sanitizer) after coughing, sneezing or touching your nose or mouth.

· If you are sick, stay home. Don't pass the flu to your friends, family and co-workers. If staying at home is not possible, GCHD recommends the use of a mask when in a public place like the grocery store or doctor's office. Masks are also recommended for ill mothers when caring for their babies.

· If your doctor prescribes antiviral medicine please finish the entire prescription.

· Watch for warning signs of danger.

o In Children: Fast breathing or trouble breathing; bluish skin color; not drinking enough fluids; not waking up or not interacting; being so irritable that the child does not want to be held; flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough; fever with a rash.

o In Adults: Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath; pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen; sudden dizziness; confusion; severe or persistent vomiting.

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