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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Idaho reports most flu deaths since 2000

FILE - In this Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015 file photo, a nurse gives administers a flu vaccine shot in Washington. Preliminary data released by U.S. health officials on Thursday, Feb. 6, 2017 suggest this season's vaccine is 48 percent effective. That's not bad since the strain that’s making most people sick is one of the worst. Experts consider it a good year when a flu vaccine is 50 to 60 percent effective. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) ORG XMIT: NY350 (Jacquelyn Martin / ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Idaho is in the midst of its worst flu season in nearly two decades, with 47 flu deaths reported statewide.

In Washington, 172 people have died from flu-related illness this season, including 10 in Spokane County, according to the latest report from the Washington Department of Health.

Since 2000, the highest number of flu deaths in Idaho was 35 during the 2012-2013 season, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare said in a news release. This season’s deaths include 11 which still are being tested.

This year’s flu vaccine is a good match for the virus circulating in most parts of the country. Samples from the CDC evaluated across the U.S. matched the strain in this year’s vaccine about 97 percent of the time, the release said.

“Unfortunately, this flu season is far from over,” said Dr. Leslie Tengelsen, Idaho’s influenza surveillance coordinator, in the release. “If you haven’t yet gotten the vaccine, it is not too late! Being vaccinated is your best option to protect yourself and your family from influenza.”