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SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash. – Flu season typically peaks between January and March, but the timing and severity is unpredictable. Since the start of the year, there have been 15 flu-related deaths, which is down considerably from the two previous seasons.
Schools, on the other hand, are seeing dramatic increases in students out because of flu-like symptoms. As of the most recent reporting period ending March 16, there have been 29 schools reporting higher than 10 percent absentee rates due to influenza-like illnesses. In addition, 242 people in Snohomish County have been hospitalized for the flu this season, and seven long-term care facilities have reported with influenza-like outbreaks.
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:
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.