Season's first flu death hits Whatcom County

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDFebruary 6, 2014 

Whatcom County had its first flu-related death of the season between Jan. 26 and Feb. 1, according to the Whatcom County Health Department.

The person who died was an adult younger than 65 who had underlying medical risk factors for flu complications, Whatcom County health officer Greg Stern said.

In that time, there was one lab-confirmed flu-related hospitalization and six positive influenza A tests. That's down from 20 confirmed flu tests in the week ending Jan. 11, according to the Whatcom County flu report.

This year's influenza A strain, which is the same as the H1N1 from 2009, has hit younger adults harder. So far in this flu season, more than half of those being hospitalized nationwide with the virus were in the 18 to 64 age range, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That's almost double the percentage for that age range compared to last year.

Reach Zoe Fraley at 360-756-2803 or zoe.fraley@bellinghamherald.com.

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