Seasonal Influenza: One Death Locally

Influenza illness is increasing in the Pacific Northwest. Mason County has received reports of influenza illness and an influenza related death in a 60-year-old Mason County resident with some underlying medical conditions.

It’s not too late to give or get influenza vaccine. It takes two weeks for the vaccine to provide some protection. Influenza vaccine effectiveness varies, but in general will help provide some protection.

The vaccine is less effective in the elderly. It is important that well persons get vaccinated, especially those caring for others that cannot get vaccinated.

General advice is to cover cough, wash hands, stay home when you are ill and avoid people who are ill. There are other viruses circulating as well. The best protection and prevention of illness is, again: cover your cough with a tissue or cough into your bent arm, washing your hands frequently; especially after using the restroom and before eating, and lastly, stay home if you are ill.

Each year hundreds of residents are infected with Influenza. For the majority, it is a miserable 7-10 days of fever, body aches and headaches, cough and feeling horrible. Persons with underlying heart, lung, renal disease or who are immune compromised, very elderly and the very young at a higher risk of getting complications and sometimes dying from Influenza.

Persons at high risk of complications can be treated with antiviral medications within the first 48 hours of illness to prevent deadly complications. They should seek medical care as soon as possible.

Questions may be directed to the Public Health division of Mason County Community Services at 360-427-9670 ext. 400.

Flu information can alsp be found at Washington State Department of Health website: http://www.doh.wa.gov/YouandYourFamily/IllnessandDisease/Flu

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