Flu cases on the rise in North Idaho

Print Article

(Miguel Roberts/The Brownsville Herald via AP) In this Friday, Sept. 22, 2017, file photo, a flu vaccine injection is administered at the Brownsville Events Center by a pharmacist in Brownsville, Texas. According to data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday, Dec. 8, 2017, this yearís flu season is off to a quick start and so far it seems to be dominated by a nasty bug.

By MAUREEN DOLAN

Hagadone News Network

There is still time get a flu shot.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises people to get a flu vaccine by the end of October, but early December is still ahead of the typical flu season peak, which is usually between December and March.

ďAs long as the flu is still circulating in your community, itís not too late,Ē said Lisa Grohskopf, M.D, Medical Officer at the CDC.

If you havenít been vaccinated yet, youíre not alone. During last yearís flu season, less than 50 percent of people in the U.S. reported having been vaccinated by the end of November, according to the CDC.

Right now, in North Idaho, flu cases are on the rise.

There were six hospitalizations and one flu-related death in the region in November. The current rate of hospitalizations for influenza has increased to 12.9/100,000 population, according to information provided by epidemiologists at Panhandle Health District. Thatís a trend of roughly 20 flu-related hospital admissions in the region.

ďAccording to the CDC, it takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies that protect against influenza virus infection to fully develop in the body, so itís best to get vaccinated early,Ē said PHD spokeswoman Melanie Collett.

For those who have not yet been vaccinated, this is a good time to do it, Collett said.

At the health district, they are seeing more tests come back positive for influenza. Between Nov. 26 and Dec. 2, 105 specimens were tested for flu virus in North Idaho, and 25 came back positive.

The median age of those testing positive is 70. Influenza type A is more prevalent in North Idaho with 58 percent testing positive for that strain. The rest tested positive for type B.

ďThe single best way to prevent the spread of the flu is getting an annual flu shot. Itís a safe and effective way to prevent illness and save lives by significantly limiting your likelihood of passing on flu symptoms to vulnerable loved ones,Ē Collett said.

You donít have to have flu symptoms to be passing the illness on to people around you who are at high risk for complications leading to hospitalization or death: young children, the elderly, pregnant women and those with chronic conditions.

People who have the flu often experience all or many of the following symptoms: fever, chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, fatigue and occasionally vomiting or diarrhea, although digestive issues are more common in children.

Vaccines are available at many pharmacies and physicianís offices.

The shots are also administered at Panhandle Health Districtís Care Plus Clinics. The agency bills all insurances, including Medicare and Medicaid. Most flu shots are fully covered by insurance. Without insurance, the cost of a flu shot is $20 for a child, $49 for adults and $88 for the high dose that is recommended for those 65 and older.

In addition to your annual flu shot, you can protect yourself by washing your hands often and avoiding people with cold or flu symptoms. If you have flu symptoms, PHD advises you to stay home to prevent spreading the virus to others. And as always, cover your coughs and sneezes.

Print Article

Read More Local News

Athol mayor cites internal conflicts for stepping down

October 16, 2018 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press By BRIAN WALKER Hagadone News Network ATHOL ó Bob Wachter is no longer serving as Atholís mayor. Wachter, whose term wasnít set to expire until January 2020, said his decision to step down was ...

Comments

Read More

Fischer resigns IFG post

October 16, 2018 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press Three former Panhandle Idaho Fish and Game commissioners stood behind a request for Blake Fischer to resign after the commissioner from Meridian bragged about killing a family of baboons. Fischer, w...

Comments

Read More

Proposal seeks to honor legendary Bulldog, Packer

October 16, 2018 at 5:00 am | Bonner County Daily Bee SANDPOINT ó A proposal to name five blocks of Ontario Street for Sandpoint native and NFL Hall of Famer Jerry Kramer may be in the city's future. It is not going to happen this week, however, as was ...

Comments

Read More

BCSO: Shooting may be self-defense

October 16, 2018 at 5:00 am | Bonner County Daily Bee SPIRIT LAKE ó Bonner County sheriffís investigators are investigating a homicide that occurred on Friday. Deputies and a Priest River Police officer were summoned to the 100 block of Rebel Ridge Roa...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(208) 263-9534
PO Box 159
Sandpoint, ID 83864

©2018 Bonner County Daily Bee Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X