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Flu season in Idaho still active

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Right now flu is widespread in Idaho and Washington. Idaho Department of Health and Welfare Public Information Manager Niki Forbing-Orr told KLEW News Monday, flu is not a reportable illness, meaning numbers coming into their office may not accurately reflect the true scope as some people don’t go to the doctor for the flu.

What we do know is that more people are visiting the ER for flu-like symptoms and more people are being hospitalized which is why officials stress if you haven’t received a flu vaccine, get it.

Forbing-Orr said the flu season typically lasts from October to May, but already we’re closing in on last year’s high number of flu-related deaths.

“For the week ending February third, we had seven new flu-related deaths that week, which brings our season total to 58,” she said.

“Last season we had 72 flu-related deaths and that was actually a pretty high season. We typically average 23 flu-related deaths a season; 58 is still pretty high.”

In our district, one confirmed flu death has been reported. The Idaho Panhandle region just to the north has the highest mortality rate, with 31 of the 58 reported deaths this season.

Besides getting the flu vaccine, which may not protect you against getting the flu but can lessen the severity if you do, the Centers for Disease Control are also recommending people get the pneumonia vaccine.

Especially those in high-risk categories like the elderly, very young children, or those with compromised immune systems.

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