In Skagit County, in the last three weeks alone, the county has seen more flu cases than the rest of the season combined. To date, the county has seen four deaths attributed to influenza this season.
Across the state, there have been 114 lab-confirmed influenza deaths reported.
The county has also seen a number of influenza-like illness outbreaks in sensitive settings, such as schools and long term care facilities.
The following graph compares last flu season to this season, and shows a fairly large spike since February.
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 the following:
- Adults 65 years and older
- People with certain chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease)
- Pregnant women
- 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:
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle or body aches
- Fatigue (very tired)
Some people may have fever, vomiting and diarrhea.