First flu-related death of the season reported in Spokane

SPOKANE, Wash. — Flu season has just begun, and it has already claimed the life of a Spokane County resident this past week.

The Spokane Regional Health District says the patient was in their 60s with underlying health conditions.

Unfortunately, this is a sad example of how serious flu can be,said Dr. Francisco Velázquez, Spokane County health officer. “Our hearts are with the family and friends who are grieving this terrible loss.”  

The flu is a respiratory illness that is very contagious and infects the nose, throat, and lungs. Many people are at higher risk of serious flu complications, such as the elderly, young children, pregnant women, American Indian/Alaska Natives, and those with certain health conditions.

Last season, there were eight flu-related deaths, and 78 residents hospitalized in Spokane County.

You may have the flu if you exhibit these symptoms:

  • Fever or chills 
  • Cough 
  • Sore throat 
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches 
  • Extreme fatigue

Your best chance at protecting yourself and others is to get the flu vaccine, Velázquez said. 

READ: How to prepare your family for what could be a bad flu season