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posted on January 02, 2018 15:10

Idaho is seeing more influenza-related deaths at this point in the season than in the same timeframe in the previous seven seasons, and public health officials are concerned. The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare has received five new reports in one week of Idahoans who died from an influenza-related illness, bringing the season total to 13 deaths.

“Flu is widespread in Idaho and may be especially severe this season,” said Randi Pedersen, the state influenza surveillance coordinator. “Unfortunately, this flu season is far from over. Influenza activity typically peaks in Idaho in January or early February. If you haven’t yet gotten the vaccine, it is not too late! Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself and your family from this serious illness.”

Everyone over six months of age is recommended to get the flu vaccine, unless they have medical reasons to avoid it.

Influenza is a contagious respiratory illness that infects 5 to 20 percent of the population every year. Symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, and sometimes a cough and sore throat. The predominant strain currently circulating in Idaho is influenza A(H3), but influenza A(H1N1) and influenza B also have been detected. 

Continue reading the full news release here