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Health experts tracking flu resurgence in Spokane County

SPOKANE, Wash. - The health experts at the Spokane Regional Health District said they are tracking a flu trend which they haven't seen in a few years. A late resurgence in the flu, which often peaks in January, gripped the area. 

"March is going to be our biggest month for this flu season," said Mark Springer, an epidemiologist with the district, "With the activity we are seeing right now, I suspect we will see flu activity through the end of April."

He says it is not a new type of flue or anything like that, in fact the late season influenza type b, hasn't even hit yet.

"Influenza b typically happens in March and April, and that hasn't happened yet," Springer said.

He says the early type A was H1N1, which affects more younger people and working age adults but hasn't seen data to suggest that the late season strain has been the H3N2 which targets more infants and seniors.

If you have already had the flu this season, you are able to get it again, just a different strain.

"That is why we recommend the vaccine," Springer said, "It protects against both type A's and two type B's."

He urges keeping your children home if they are experiencing flu like symptoms, such as high fever, body aches, respiratory symptoms, cough and sore throat, to minimize transmission.

According to the latest numbers from the Spokane Regional Health District, Spokane County has seen 420 hospitalizations and 21 deaths because of the flu. Less than what year's particularly bad flu season brought.

Statewide there have been 114 deaths.

 


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