The Washington State Department of Health has reported 24 deaths related to the flu in Snohomish County, the highest of all Washington counties to date.
Flu season typically peaks in February and may continue through May.
Flu-like symptoms — fever, feverish chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches and tiredness — start suddenly, not gradually and a combination of these means an individual likely needs to be seen by their primary care physician. If the person is pregnant, diabetic, immunocompromised or experiences shortness of breath — such as chronic asthma or health failure — they should seek immediate medical care.
Dos and don’ts if you think you have the flu
Do still get your flu shot. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it’s not too late. Primary care doctors, wellness/convenience clinics and most retail pharmacies can administer a flu shot.
Don’t visit your local emergency room for a flu shot. Emergency departments should be reserved for medical emergencies — receiving a flu shot in the ER will come with longer wait times and higher out-of-pocket costs.
Do seek medical care. If you are a typically healthy person who’s had a flu shot but think you may be experiencing a common case of the flu, call your primary care physician, visit a convenience, retail or urgent care clinic and consider a virtual visit with a doctor from your mobile device or computer.
Don’t infect others. If you are sick with the flu, stay home to prevent spreading flu to others. Most healthy adults can infect others one day before symptoms develop and up to five to seven days after becoming sick, which means that you may be able to pass on the flu to someone else before you know you are sick, as well as while you are sick.
To find a flu vaccine provider near you, visit the CDC Flu Vaccine Finder at www.cdc.gov/flu and enter your zip code.