News Releases

01/12/2024: First Flu Death Reported

Panhandle Health District (PHD) is reporting north Idaho’s first influenza-related death for
the 2023-24 flu season. The individual, who was in their 20s, died due to complications
from an influenza infection. Since flu is not a reportable disease in Idaho, no other
information on the individual is available. This is the ninth flu-related death in Idaho this
season.

“We want to remind residents that flu can be very serious,” said Jenna Dowell, Clinical
Services Division Administrator for PHD. “We are seeing an increase in flu activity in our area
and throughout the state. The best way to protect yourself, is to receive the flu vaccine.”
Receiving the influenza vaccine every year is especially important for people at higher risk
for serious flu-related complications. Healthy people should be vaccinated to protect
vulnerable populations, such as elderly people and people who live in long-term care
facilities, where they could be exposed to influenza by family and friends.


Talk to your healthcare provider or pharmacist to determine which vaccines are best for you.
Symptoms of the flu include fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, body aches, headache,
chills, or fatigue. Although most people who catch the flu recover after a few days, some can
have serious complications and even die.

In addition to becoming vaccinated against flu, Idahoans can take other actions to prevent
the spread of respiratory diseases:

  • Wash your hands frequently or use hand sanitizer. Avoid touching your eyes, nose,
    and mouth until you have washed your hands.
  • Get plenty of rest, drink plenty of liquids, eat nutritious foods, and take part in
    physical activity to stay healthy.
  • Stay home from work or school when sick.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes.
    Call your local primary care provider, local pharmacy or PHD if you wish to schedule an
    appointment for a flu vaccine. For more information visit www.panhandlehealthdistrict.org.
    Flu shots can also be found using vaccinefinder.org.

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Panhandle Health District provides over 40 different public health programs to families,
individuals and organizations in northern Idaho. From food and drinking water safety to
health education and disease control, public health services are critical to ensure our
community is a safe and healthy place to live, work and play.
The PHD team is made up of nurses, nutritionists, environmental health specialists, health
educators and many other dedicated professionals with a common goal to deliver vital
public health services.
Panhandle Health District is one of seven health districts in the state of Idaho.

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Panhandle Health District provides over 40 different public health programs to families, individuals and organizations in northern Idaho. From food and drinking water safety to health education and disease control, public health services are critical to ensure our community is a safe and healthy place to live, work and play.

The PHD team is made up of nurses, nutritionists, environmental health specialists, health educators and many other dedicated professionals with a common goal to deliver vital public health services.

Panhandle Health District is one of seven health districts in the state of Idaho.