A Spokane County woman in her 40s has died from influenza.
She had underlying health conditions and had been hospitalized, according to public health officials.
She was the fourth Eastern Washington person killed by the flu. Her name and other specifics about her illness are being withheld, said Kim Papich, spokeswoman for the Spokane Regional Health District. The others who died of the flu include a Lincoln County man in his 40s; a Grant County man in is 40s; and a Tri-Cities woman in her 50s.
This year’s early arrival of the flu season has put 135 people in Spokane hospitals, exceeding the norm and far outpacing last year’s 31 flu hospitalizations at this time.
There have been 7 people with the flu admitted to Kootenai Medical Center.
This year’s flu strain is a type of the H1N1 virus - commonly called swine flu – that created a pandemic in 2009.