SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - Health officials say a late-season wave of influenza has caused a spike in hospitalizations across the Inland Northwest.
The Spokesman-Review reports the virus is a different strain than that which affected people earlier this flu season.
Officials with the Spokane Regional Health District say overall, flu-related hospitalizations and deaths are significantly lower than last year, but the numbers for March were higher than deaths and hospitalizations seen in March during any of the last five years.
So far this year, more than 420 people received flu treatment in a Spokane hospital, with more than 100 of them occurring during March.
Amy Ward, a nurse and infection prevention manager at Kootenai Health in Idaho, says flu hospitalizations were also up during March in her region. Officials with Panhandle District Health, which covers the five northernmost Idaho counties, say the flu season seems to be stretching on far longer than normal.
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