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Health officials brace for worst as flu season approaches

Health officials brace for worst as...

SPOKANE, Wash. - Another flu season is right around the corner, and the Spokane Regional Health District is asking people to make time to get a flu shot.

It's still too early to predict how bad the flu season will be, but health officials are bracing for the worst. Last year's season proved to be deadly.

"There were 315 hospitalizations alone that were reported in Spokane County for last season," said SRHD Epidemiologist Malia Nogle. "Unfortunately we did have 14 deaths, including one pediatric death," she added.

Health officials say the best way to protect yourself, and others from the flu is to get vaccinated.

"It's about helping protect the spread of disease to others, not just yourself," said Nogle. "Young children who can not be immunized, elderly adults, and people who have immune compromised systems are at serious risk for getting the flu."

The influenza virus changes each season, and so do vaccines.

"Unfortunately last season wasn't as effective as it could have been. But again, receiving that vaccination is better than not receiving it at all because even if you do still get the flu, with the vaccine, it may offer some serious protection from symptoms and complications," said Nogle.

Getting a flu shot is easy--most pharmacies and doctors offices are now stocked up with vaccines. Several vaccine clinics also provide shots for children and adults.

There are several vaccine clinics providing shots:

For Children (any child from any district)
Shaw Middle School
-Thursday, Sept. 21, 3:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. (4106 N. Cook St.)
Reardon Elementary
-Thursday Oct. 12, 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. (245 S. Aspen St.)
Farwell Elementary
-Tuesday, Oct. 17 3:30 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. (13005 N. Crestline St.)

For Adults and Children:
Rotary Club-Sponsored
Garfield Elementary, 222 W. Knox Ave.
Logan Elementary, 1001 E. Montgomery Ave.
Stevens Elementary, 1717 E. Sinto Ave.
-Tuesday, Oct. 24, 3:30 - 7:30 p.m.