Panhandle Health District (PHD) is reporting North Idaho’s first influenza-related death for the 2023-24 flu season. The individual, who was in their 20s, died due to complications from an influenza infection. Since flu is not a reportable disease in Idaho, no other information on the individual is available. This is the ninth flu-related death in Idaho this season.
“We want to remind residents that flu can be very serious,” said Jenna Dowell, Clinical Services Division Administrator for PHD. “We are seeing an increase in flu activity in our area and throughout the state. The best way to protect yourself, is to receive the flu vaccine.”
Receiving the influenza vaccine every year is especially important for people at higher risk for serious flu-related complications. Healthy people should be vaccinated to protect vulnerable populations, such as elderly people and people who live in long-term care facilities, where they could be exposed to influenza by family and friends.
Talk to your healthcare provider or pharmacist to determine which vaccines are best for you.
Symptoms of the flu include fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, body aches, headache, chills, or fatigue. Although most people who catch the flu recover after a few days, some can have serious complications and even die.
In addition to becoming vaccinated against flu, Idahoans can take other actions to prevent the spread of respiratory diseases:
• Wash your hands frequently or use hand sanitizer. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth until you have washed your hands.
• Get plenty of rest, drink plenty of liquids, eat nutritious foods, and take part in physical activity to stay healthy.
• Stay home from work or school when sick.
• Cover your coughs and sneezes.
Call your local primary care provider, local pharmacy or PHD if you wish to schedule an appointment for a flu vaccine. For more information visit www.panhandlehealthdistrict.org. Flu shots can also be found using vaccinefinder.org.