First flu-related death confirmed in Skagit County

(SKAGIT COUNTY)- Skagit County Public Health was notified of a laboratory-confirmed Influenza A death on Monday, Jan. 8. This is the first confirmed death in Skagit County for this flu season.
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.

Skagit County Public Health 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. Those specifically at risk include individuals 65 years and older, people with certain 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 develop and up to five to seven days after becoming sick. Symptoms of the flu include a cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, and fatigue. 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.