EVERETT — Three more adults have died from influenza-related causes in Snohomish County, with the number of flu deaths this season climbing to eight.
That’s the highest of any county in the state, according to the state Department of Health. Next is Spokane County, with seven flu-related fatalities.
The local deaths include a man in his early 60s from Mill Creek and two people from Bothell, a man in his late 80s and a woman in her late 60s, according to the Snohomish Health District.
All had existing health conditions that made them more susceptible to the flu.
The first five deaths, which occurred in December, were announced earlier this week. All were adults, ranging in age from late 40s to early 90s and all had health issues which made them more susceptible to influenza.
Some 91 people have been hospitalized for influenza-related symptoms in Snohomish County.
Eight long-term care facilities have reported influenza outbreaks and one school has reported student absences of more than 10 percent with influenza-like symptoms.
Last year, 45 people died from the flu in Snohomish County, by far the highest toll in recent years.
Statewide, 29 people have died from influenza-related illnesses this flu season, according to the state health data.
Flu symptoms typically start suddenly and include fever, chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, fatigue and in some cases vomiting and diarrhea.
Although the body aches and fever caused by the flu can make those sickened by it miserable, it generally can be treated at home by steps such as drinking fluids and taking over-the-counter pain medications, such such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
Sometimes, an antiviral medication is prescribed, which can shorten the illness by a day or two.
Health officials say that people sickened by flu should check with their medical clinic before going to an emergency room.
The Snohomish Health District says serious warning signs of the flu, which should be checked out immediately, are fast or troubled breathing; being unable to drink or keep liquids down; not waking up; and sudden dizziness or confusion. If the illness causes bluish or gray skin color, call 911.
In children, seek prompt medical attention if they are so irritable that they do not want to be held or when infants younger than 3 months have a fever.
Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486 or firstname.lastname@example.org.