Two elderly women in North Idaho die from flu-related causes

Two elderly women in North Idaho have died from flu-related causes, according to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.

These were the first two deaths among Idaho residents this flu season. Both women were over the age of 70.

“The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare is reminding residents that flu can be serious,” said Dr. Leslie Tengelsen, the Idaho Influenza Surveillance Coordinator. “Although these deaths occurred in northern Idaho, influenza activity is on the rise statement. One important prevention measure for Idahoans is to get an annual flu shot.”

According to a release from DHW, Idaho public health officials are responding to outbreaks of influenza among residents of assisted-living and long-term care facilities in several communities throughout the state.

People who live in these types of residential facilities are encouraged to get the flu vaccine and follow good hand-washing and sanitation practices to prevent spreading flu.

Health officials say getting the flu shot every year is especially important for people at higher risk for serious flu-related complications including people with chronic health conditions, pregnant women, young children and anyone 65 years of age or older.

During the four previous flu seasons in Idaho, an average of 64 influenza-related deaths occurred, with more deaths occurring among people over 70 years of age.

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