[1/11/17] A Closer Look At Flu In North Central Washington

Posted in Feature, Health

The flu is making its annual rounds in North Central Washington and across the state, causing many folks to miss work or school and stay home to wait out the sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching, stuffy head, fever and other symptoms.

Christal Eschelman with the Chelan-Douglas Health District says although plenty of people have contracted the flu in the past few months, the volume of cases within the state and region are on par with seasonal averages…

011117 Local Flu Cases 1 :09 “…of positive lab results”

Eschelman says there are a number of ways to aide in halting the spread of the flu virus and to safeguard against getting infected…

011117 Local Flu Cases 2 :34 “….able to- to go get it”

As for knowing when the pathogen is no longer contagious should you acquire the flu, Eschelman adds that there’s a standard timeframe for most individuals…

011117 Local Flu Cases 3 :11 “… you go back to work”

Not only can the flu be a miserable inconvenience, it can also kill. The Washington Department of Health reports two dozen people have died from the flu since the fall, with that number likely to climb before the annual season breaks, which Eschelman notes there is no established calendar for…

011117 Local Flu Cases 4 :22 “…its considered an epidemic”

Hospitals around Washington State have been hard pressed to find a way to infirm all of those who are becoming ill and officials are recommending that only the sickest patients or those in higher risk categories for flu-related complications seek treatment in emergency rooms.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, those who are most vulnerable to the flu are adults 65 years-of-age or older, children under age five, pregnant or post partum women, residents in long-term care facilities and those with heart, lung or kidney disease or immune, metabolic and endocrine disorders.

Of the 24 Washington residents who have succumb to the flu this season, two were over age 50 and the rest were over 65, with several victims in their 80s or 90s.