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Saturday, October 31, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Flu season in Spokane off to a mild start

Flu season is off to a mild start in Spokane County, health officials say.

Twelve influenza hospitalizations have been reported since last fall, according to the Spokane Regional Health District. One local resident died of flu-related complications in October.

During the 2014-2015 season, 407 people in Spokane County were hospitalized with flu-related illness, and 17 people died.

The mild flu season might be the result of a better vaccine match, said Mark Springer, a health district epidemiologist. Last season’s vaccine didn’t fully protect against one of the prevalent influenza strains of the 2014-2015 season.

Flu season could also be off to a late start, he said. Some years, it peaks in February and March.

The health district also reported 14 cases of pertussis, or whooping cough, in Spokane County during January. Some of the cases were associated with an outbreak at St. Thomas More School.

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Fall means the onset of the cold and flu season.