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Posted on: January 11, 2019

First Lab-Confirmed Flu Death Reported in Snohomish County

SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash. – The Snohomish Health District has received its first report of a laboratory-confirmed influenza (flu) death for the 2018-19 season. A Marysville woman in her early-80s with underlying conditions died earlier this week. 

Flu season tends to peak between January and March. It can be unpredictable. In past years, Snohomish County has experienced seasons with sudden, sharp peaks in the number of hospitalizations and deaths, and prolonged flu seasons with several smaller peaks due to multiple strains of influenza. During the 2017-18 flu season, there were 40 confirmed flu-related deaths in Snohomish County.

The county is also seeing the number of flu-related hospitalizations pick up for the current season. As of the week ending January 5, there have been 31 flu-related hospitalizations. 

It’s not too late for people to get their flu shot. They can talk to their medical provider or visit their local pharmacy.

To avoid getting and spreading the flu, wash hands and surfaces thoroughly and frequently. Cover coughs or sneezes with tissue or sleeves to avoid spreading virus in the air or by hand. If people are feeling sick, they should stay home to avoid spreading the flu at work, school or elsewhere in the community.

More information about the flu, including weekly reports, is available online at www.snohd.org/flu.

Hospitals were initially required to report influenza hospitalizations with the H1N1 pandemic in 2009-2010. While flu is no longer considered a notifiable condition, local collaboration with Snohomish County hospitals has allowed the Health District to continue collecting this information on a weekly basis during flu season. Only those patients admitted overnight due to influenza complications are counted in these reports. 

To help stay informed during flu season, the Snohomish Health District has developed resources for the community at www.snohd.org/flu. Highlights of the information include:

•    Weekly influenza surveillance reports (updated weekly on Friday afternoons) 

•    Information on flu symptoms and treatment options

•    Guidelines on when to remain home, and when to seek medical or emergency care

•    Status of medical providers who are offering extended clinic hours to help reduce the demand on hospitals

The Snohomish Health District works for a safer and healthier community through disease prevention, health promotion, and protection from environmental threats. To read more about the District and for important health information, visit www.snohd.org.

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