Idaho flu deaths at record levels

Posted February 18, 2017

The Department of Health Services reported Friday that there were 752 confirmed cases reported across the state last week, marking a significant increase from the 346 cases documented the previous week.

Flu deaths are on the rise in Idaho, and the season is still going strong, with this year's influenza season shaping up to be one of the most severe in recent memory.

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The largest number of deaths has occurred in Health District 4, which includes Ada, Elmore, Boise and Valley counties.

Overall deaths from pneumonia and flu were at 7.8%, keeping the level above the epidemic threshold of 7.5% for this point in the flu season. "It takes about two weeks for the vaccine to be effective, so now is a really good time to get that protection if you have not already", according to McHugh. First, avoid close contact with sick people and stay at home if you are sick. The good news is that the vaccines are a good match for the strains circulating this year - so health officials urge those who haven't been vaccinated to consider it. Influenza antiviral prescription drugs can be used to treat or prevent influenza if started soon after symptoms begin. Older people, children under 5 years of age, pregnant women and those with underlying health conditions (asthma, diabetes, and heart disease) are at particularly high risk for serious flu complications.