Influenza season comes to an end

This flu season, Clark County recorded five influenza-associated deaths and seven outbreaks in long-term care facilities.

Those stats were included in Clark County Public Health’s 2014-15 flu season summary issued Thursday.

Flu activity picked up in late November, peaked in late December and lasted about 12 weeks. The county had 550 lab-confirmed cases of influenza this year, according to the report.

That trend mirrored the flu seasons the last two years.

Positivity Rate of Influenza Tests by Week from Reporting Laboratories in Clark County

Positivity rate of influenza tests by week from reporting laboratories in Clark County

The dominant circulating strain of influenza in Clark County was H3N2, which was not included in the seasonal flu vaccine.

This year’s vaccine had an effectiveness of just 19 percent, meaning the flu reduced a person’s risk of having to seek medical care for flu illness by 19 percent, according to the report.

Not even birds could escape the flu this year.

Avian influenza was detected in wild and captive birds in Washington, but no human cases were identified.

Marissa Harshman

Marissa Harshman

I'm the health reporter for The Columbian newspaper in Vancouver, Wash. I started at The Columbian -- my hometown newspaper -- in September 2009. Reach me at or 360-735-4546.

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