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Flu claims life of Snohomish County, Bothell resident

Snohomish County’s first confirmed flu death of the 2013-14 season has been reported to the Snohomish Health District. A Bothell woman in her thirties died from influenza complications on Jan. 4. She had underlying health conditions and passed away in a King County hospital.

“This next few months could be a rough start to 2014 for people who do not protect themselves from the flu,” said Nancy Furness, Director of Communicable Disease Division at Snohomish County’s local public health agency. Furness noted that seven county residents died from influenza-related illness in 2013.

EvergreenHealth in Kirkland has confirmed three deaths from the flu. There is no indication that the Bothell woman is among those who died at EvergreenHealth.

A flu shot every year is recommended for everyone age 6 months and older. Different strains of flu circulate each year. So far this year, the most common flu virus has been H1N1, the “swine flu” that hit young adults and children hard in 2009. This year’s flu vaccine includes H1N1, substantially reducing the chances you will get a serious case of the flu or pass it to others.

The state Department of Health reports five flu-related deaths statewide as of Dec. 28. Official statewide cumulative totals about illness activity are issued once a week, and do not include data from the current week. The Jan. 4 Snohomish County death is not reflected in the most recent statewide total.

Visit www.flu.gov for more information about flu, and www.doh.wa.gov for statewide updates.

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