Deadly Flu Strikes Two Months Early; Idaho Man Is First to Die

BOISE, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) – A northern Idaho man over the age of 50 has died from an influenza related illness.

An Idaho man is the first to die from this year’s flu season, which authorities say has arrived two month’s earlier than last year’s.

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“The Department of Health and Welfare is warning residents that the flu season appears to have arrived early this year, with this first influenza-related death of the season and early reports of flu activity from other parts of the state,” said Dr. Leslie Tengelsen, the state influenza surveillance coordinator.

“This underscores how important it is for all of us to take precautions now to avoid influenza infections.

The first reported influenza-related death last season didn’t occur until December.

Influenza is a contagious respiratory illness that infects 5 to 20 percent of the population every year. Flu symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, and sometimes a cough and sore throat.

Most people who get influenza recover after a few days, but some people may develop serious complications and even die.

Every year, the flu contributes to an estimated 12,000 to 56,000 deaths in the United States and 140,000 to 710,000 hospitalizations.

Tengelsen advises people to follow these steps to protect themselves and others:

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing to prevent infecting other people. Avoid people who appear to be sick.
  • Stay home from work or school when sick so you don’t infect others.
  • Wash your hands frequently, especially after being out in the public. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth until you have washed your hands.
  • Get plenty of rest, drink plenty of liquids, eat nutritious foods and take part in physical activity to stay healthy.

READ THE FULL STORY AT. Also of interest: Two Words If You Get The Flu: STAY HOME