BOISE — Idaho’s first flu-related death this season happened earlier this week: a northern Idaho woman older than 50, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare announced Nov. 9.
“The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare is reminding residents that flu can be serious,” Idaho influenza surveillance coordinator Randi Pedersen said in a statement. “The most important action to take to prevent serious illness is to get a flu vaccine now.”
In a statement Friday, South Central Public Health District nurse manager Logan Hudson said: “This is a tragedy we want every family to avoid. We expect to see more influenza cases as we get into the winter months. It’s not too late to protect yourself, and your family, by getting your flu shot.”
Influenza is a contagious respiratory illness that affects 5 to 20 percent of the population every year, according to the IDHW.
Symptoms can include fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue.
Most people recover after a few days, but some develop serious complications, IDHW said. The flu vaccine is recommended those older than 6 months — especially, those with chronic health conditions, pregnant women, young children and people older than 65.
For information about influenza and how to stay healthy, visit flu.idaho.gov.
TWIN FALLS — Flu season last winter was particularly severe, but local health officials say it’s tough to predict what this season will bring.