Enterovirus D68 confirmed in Snohomish County

 Source: Snohomish Health District
September 19, 2014 – SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash. – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has confirmed the presence of enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) in Washington state, including Snohomish and King Counties. The CDC testing confirmed that two children, one from  Snohomish County and one from King County who had been hospitalized at Seattle Children’s Hospital has respiratory illness associated with EV-D68. 
“The spread of EV-D68 reminds us how important it is to get back to basics: washing hands, covering coughs, & staying home when ill,” said Dr. Gary Goldbaum, MD, MPH, Director and Health Officer of the Snohomish Health District. “And although here is no vaccine for this virus, with flu season approaching, we also need to get vaccinated in order to protect all of us.”
The results of the testing also show that EV-D68 is not alone in causing serious respiratory illness. The tests indicated that a variety of common cold viruses that cause uncomplicated infections in most children can cause severe disease in asthmatics and those with underlying lung diseases.
Many people who get sick from EV-D68 have only mild symptoms, like runny nose or coughing with or without fever.  Parents should be watchful for any signs of wheezing or worsening asthma and seek medical help promptly if breathing difficulty occurs.  Children and adults with asthma should be sure to take their medications as prescribed and have an asthma control plan with their health care provider.  They should contact their healthcare provider promptly if asthma symptoms worsen even after taking medication.
There is no specific treatment or vaccine for EV-D68 infections.  Testing is done to determine when the virus is present in the community, but is not helpful for individual patients and is not needed or available in non-hospitalized cases.
For additional information on enterovirus D-68: http://www.cdc.gov/non-polio-enterovirus/about/ev-d68.html

Flu claims life of Snohomish County resident

Source: Snohomish Health District
Flu shots work to prevent illness – lots of vaccine available in the county
SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash. – Snohomish County’s first confirmed flu death of the 2013-14 season has been reported to the Snohomish Health District. A Bothell, Wash. woman in her thirties died from influenza complications on January 4. She had underlying health conditions, and passed away in a King County hospital.
“This next few months could be a rough start to 2014 for people who do not protect themselves from the flu,” said Nancy Furness, Director of Communicable Disease Division at Snohomish County’s local public health agency. Furness noted that seven county residents died from influenza-related illness in 2013.
A flu shot every year is recommended for everyone age 6 months and older. Different strains of flu circulate each year. So far this year, the most common flu virus has been H1N1, the “swine flu” that hit young adults and children hard in 2009. This year’s flu vaccine includes H1N1, substantially reducing the chances you will get a serious case of the flu or pass it to others.
The state Department of Health reports five flu-related deaths statewide as of Dec. 28. Official statewide cumulative totals about illness activity are issued once a week, and do not include data from the current week. The Jan. 4 Snohomish County death is not reflected in the most recent statewide total.
Visit www.flu.gov for more information about flu, and www.doh.wa.gov for statewide updates.
Two upcoming community clinics in Everett offer flu and whooping cough shots at no cost for uninsured, low-income adults.
·         10 a.m. to noon Friday, Jan. 10 at Everett Station, 3201 Smith Ave., Everett, Wash.
·         3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 11 at Comcast Arena, 2000 Hewitt Ave., Everett, Wash.
The vaccine for this current flu season is available at medical providers and pharmacies throughout the county and will protect against three or four kinds of influenza virus — including H1N1 — that make people sick.
Washing hands, covering your coughs, and staying home when you are sick are effective ways to reduce spreading and getting diseases. Vaccination is the best way to protect yourself and others.
The Snohomish Health District’s clinics in Everett and Lynnwood have vaccine to protect you against the flu. The cost for an adult flu shot at the Snohomish Health District is $30. A flu shot for a child costs $23. The Health District accepts payment by cash, check, VISA, MasterCard, Provider One (coupons), and Medicare for clients whose primary insurance is not with an HMO. Clients may apply for a reduced fee, based on income and household size.
Snohomish Health District clinic hours – shots by appointment only:
·         SHD Everett Immunization Clinic, 3020 Rucker Ave, Suite 108, Everett, WA 98201
425.339.5220 for an appointment: 8 a.m.- 4 p.m., Mon-Wed-Fri; closed on weekends & holidays
·         SHD Lynnwood Immunization Clinic, 6101 200th Ave SW, Lynnwood, WA 98036
425.775.3522 for an appointment: 8 a.m.- 4 p.m., Tue & Thu; closed on weekends & holidays
Established in 1959, the Snohomish Health District works for a safer and healthier Snohomish County through disease prevention, health promotion, and protection from environmental threats. Find more information about the Health Board and the Health District at http://www.snohd.org.