SPOKANE, Wash. - The Spokane Regional Health District reported Thursday that three Spokane County residents have died from complications linked to Influenza A. As H1N1 influenza is the only influenza in current circulation, the type of influenza is likely the H1N1 virus.
"Every death from influenza is tragic and a reminder of how this virus can have very serious consequences," said Dr. Joel McCullough, Health Officer for Spokane Regional Health District. "Now is the time for people to be vigilant in preventing the spread of the flu and for people in high-risk groups to get vaccinated."
The three deaths include:
- A man in his 40s with no known underlying health conditions
- A woman in her 40s with underlying health conditions
- A woman in her 60s with no known underlying health conditions
The Health District has begun receiving weekly shipments of H1N1 vaccine and has been scheduling appointments for the nasal spray version of the vaccine. Over the next several weeks, the Health District is offering vaccination clinics for people in the CDC's prioritized vaccination groups. Groups prioritized for vaccination include:
- Pregnant women, because they are at higher risk of complications from influenza;
- Household contacts and caregivers for children younger than 6 months of age, because younger infants are at higher risk of influenza-related complications, and cannot be vaccinated -- vaccinating close contacts protects infants;
- Health care and emergency medical services personnel who provide direct patient care, to prevent illness and transmission to patients. Illness and absenteeism in this group could impact our health care system capacity;
- All people 6 months to 24 years of age, because the majority of cases have occurred in this age group, and because of the increased likelihood of disease spread in schools and childcare settings; and
- People 25 to 64 years of age who have underlying health conditions associated with higher risk of medical complications from flu.
As weekly vaccine shipments arrive, they will be distributed to area hospitals, healthcare providers and other venues where priority groups can receive the vaccination.
You are urged to contact your healthcare provider to see if you can receive a vaccination at their primary healthcare office. Once efforts have been made to vaccinate prioritized groups, the vaccine may become available to everyone who would like to protect themselves through vaccination.
Scheduled clinics include:
- Central YMCA
Saturday, October 24, 9 am - 3 pm
- Valley YMCA
Saturday, November 7, 9 am - 3 pm
- North YMCA
Saturday, November 14, 9 am - 3 pm
- West Central Community Center
Monday, November 2, 11 am - 6 pm
Friday, November 13, 11 am - 6 pm
- Spokane Valley Partners
Tuesday, November 3, 11 am - 6 pm
Monday, November 9, 11 am - 6 pm
- Airway Heights Community Center
Wednesday, November 4, 11 am - 6 pm
Wednesday, November 18, 11 am - 6 pm
- East Central Community Center
Thursday, November 5, 11 am - 6 pm
Tuesday, November 10, 11 am - 6 pm
- Northeast Community Center
Friday, November 6, 11 am - 6 pm
Thursday, November 12, 11 am - 6 pm
All vaccinations clinics are dependent upon vaccine supply.