Increasing H1N1, flu trends across Idaho

Increasing H1N1, flu trends across Idaho
Posted at 5:28 PM, Jan 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-08 19:42:57-05

BOISE  — Sometimes it disguises itself as a cold, but the flu, particularly H1N1 is increasing across the state every day.

"On a weekly basis we're seeing more and more cases of the flu," said director of urgent care for Primary Health Medical Group Dr. Derek Hamblin.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, influenza activity in the U.S. is on the rise. Widespread flu activity is being reported by 24 states. the C-D-C rates states from green to red, red being high incidence.

"Right now Idaho's a green, but we expect it to continue to increase over the season," said chief medical officer of Saint Alphonsus Dr. Ryan Heyborne.

This year, two people have died from flu, one being between ages 19-49 and the other older than 50. Compared to last year, this flu season appears to be less severe.

"in 2017-2018 season we saw about 101 deaths, and 14 of those deaths had already occurred by this time, so this year in comparison we're only seeing 2 influenza related deaths in the community," said flu surveillance coordinator Randi Pedersen.

Health officials say in Idaho specifically, flu doesn't typically peak until late January, early February.

"We're hoping its a good sign that it will be a less severe year but there's really no way to know until the season is over."

Flu trends across Idaho are updated every Friday online. While there's obvious places festering with germs, like your smartphone and keyboards, medical professionals warn of the lesser thought of spots, and recommend washing hands frequently.