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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 12, 2022
SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash. – The first Influenza death since 2020 has been confirmed in Snohomish County.
There have been no deaths in the last two flu seasons, according to a surveillance report released by the Snohomish Health District.
“During the past two years, COVID has been in the forefront of everyone’s mind and has been the primary respiratory illness circulating,” said Dr. James Lewis, Snohomish Health District Health Officer. “Because of all of our mitigation efforts to stop COVID from ravaging our community, other respiratory illnesses like the flu have remained quite low.”
Habits such as masking, increased social distancing and hand washing are also credited with the low flu numbers that Snohomish County has experienced during the pandemic.
“Unfortunately, this is likely to be the first of more cases to come,” says Lewis. “In the southern hemisphere of the world, who have their flu season during our summer, we saw a resurgence of flu infections. We are likely to see the same here.”
Dr. Lewis encourages county residents to get their recommended vaccinations, including Influenza and the new COVID-19 bivalent booster. This booster provides better protection than the previous vaccine against the predominant variants currently circulating, including Omicron.
The flu vaccine is recommended for everyone six months and older, including those pregnant and nursing. Bivalent (COVID-19) boosters are approved for persons aged 12 and older. For specific recommendations regarding the COVID vaccine and boosters, please go here. In most cases, both vaccinations can be given together. Please speak to your healthcare provider or pharmacist for more information.
If assistance is needed in locating a vaccine, people can visit www.vaccinefinder.org or call the Help Me Grow Washington hotline at 1-800-322-2588 (language assistance is available).
For more information regarding Influenza, please visit the Snohomish Health District’s website at www.snohd.org/154/The-Flu.
A copy of the “Snohomish County Influenza Surveillance Report: Season End 2021-2022” can be found here.