Influenza A data from The Everett Clinic labs. (The Everett Clinic)

Influenza A data from The Everett Clinic labs. (The Everett Clinic)

Second flu death since 2020 reported in Snohomish County

A Lynnwood woman died last week in Everett. County health officials say this could be worst flu season since the pandemic.

EVERETT — A young Lynnwood woman has become the second county resident to die from the flu this year.

The woman, who was in her 20s, died last week at Providence Regional Medical Center Everett, the Snohomish Health District reported Wednesday.

She is the first influenza death reported in the official 2022-23 flu season, which started Oct. 2 and is on track to be the worst flu season since before the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a health district release.

Flu activity tends to start in October and run through spring, typically peaking between December and February.

A Bothell woman in her 70s died from the flu before Oct. 2, the beginning of the 2022-23 flu season as set by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She was the county’s first death from the flu since 2020.

In the 2021-22 season, there were at least 22 flu deaths in Washington state. Most had underlying health conditions or were people 65 or older, the demographic traditionally hit hard.

“We know from our data, our conversations with healthcare partners, and what we’re seeing in the community that this is a challenging season,” Dr. James Lewis, health officer for the Snohomish Health District, said in a statement. “The flu can be a very serious illness for people of all ages, as can COVID-19. We have vaccines to help protect us, and I again urge everyone 6 months and older to get their annual flu vaccine as well as their COVID vaccines.”

Lewis also encouraged wearing of masks when in indoor crowded places given the current high circulation of respiratory viruses.

Appointments for flu vaccines and COVID-19 vaccines and boosters are available at most clinics and pharmacies. It is safe to get a flu shot and COVID booster at the same appointment, according to the health district.

People should talk to their health care provider about specific vaccination questions.

More information related to flu vaccination, can be found on the health district website, www.snohd.org/flu.

Jerry Cornfield: 360-352-8623; jcornfield@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @dospueblos.

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