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’Tis the season: Flu arrives in Snohomish County

Had your flu shot yet? Vaccine is available at two Health District clinics

SNOHOMISH COUNTY --- Flu season officially opened Dec. 11 when the state's first confirmed case of flu was reported in Snohomish County. A 9-year-old boy from Bothell tested positive for Influenza A/H3N2, one of three strains making the rounds this year. According to health officials, this case is the second confirmed incidence of flu of this type in the nation so far this flu season.

"We now know for certain that influenza is circulating in our community," said M. Ward Hinds, MD, MPH, head of Snohomish Health District. "Fortunately, it is not too late to get a flu vaccination. Influenza usually peaks in January or February even though the first cases may appear in December," said Dr. Hinds.

Children age newborn to 23 months are at increased risk for flu-related hospitalization. The Health District encourages vaccination of children age 6 months and older, as well as young children’s household contacts and out-of-home caretakers. Children under age 9 receiving vaccine for the first time need two doses of vaccine with a one-month separation between vaccinations.

Flu shots are available at the Snohomish Health District Main Clinic by appointment on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Monday and Wednesday by appointment from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and walk-in from 1 to 4:30 p.m. The Main Clinic address is 3020 Rucker Ave., Suite 108, Everett. Call 425.339.5220 for an appointment.

The District also operates a clinic in Lynnwood, at 6101 200th St, SW, Suite 100. The clinic offers flu vaccinations by appointment Monday 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Wednesday and Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and walk-in Tuesday and Thursday 1 to 5:30 p.m. Call 425.775.3522 to schedule an appointment.

The total fee for influenza vaccination is $15 by cash or check, and a sliding fee scale is available. The clinics also accept medical coupons and Medicare. The State provides flu vaccine for children age 6 months through 18 years with high-risk conditions, including children who are a household contact of a person at high risk, and only a $10 administration fee is charged for these children. Individuals with Medicare who are enrolled in a health plan such as Secure Horizons are encouraged to use their assigned provider. If they choose to come to the Health District clinics, they will be charged according to the sliding fee scale. For more information about vaccinations, call the Health District Main Clinic: 425.339.5220.

Established in 1959, the Snohomish Health District works for safer and healthier individuals, families and communities through disease prevention, health promotion, and protection from environmental threats. Find more information about the Health District at www.snohd.org.

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