Tri-Cities Woman First Confirmed Flu-Related Death This Season - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Tri-Cities Area Woman First Confirmed Flu-Related Death This Season

Posted: Updated: - The Washington State Department of Health says a Tri-Cities area woman is the first confirmed flu-related death this season.

And now the Department wants to remind residents that it's not too late to get your flu shot.
The holidays bring travel, parties, and get-togethers which creates an opportunity for people to spread illnesses like the flu.

The flu is more serious than the common cold, and it can cause complications that lead to hospitalization and death. The virus can spread before a person knows they're sick. Many people with flu have a fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, body aches, and fatigue.

Getting vaccinated and using good health manners can help you avoid the flu this season. Cover your cough, wash your hands, and stay home and away from others when you're sick. It takes two weeks after vaccination to be protected.

"Getting a yearly flu vaccine is the first and most important thing you can do to protect yourself and avoid spreading the flu to others, especially people who may be more vulnerable," said State Health Officer Dr. Maxine Hayes. "There are many options of the flu vaccine this year. Ask your health care provider about which one is best for you and your family."

Flu vaccines are recommended for everyone six months and older. It's especially important for people at high-risk, such as young kids; people 65 and older; pregnant women; and people with chronic conditions, including asthma, diabetes, heart disease, and neurologic conditions. Babies under six months are too young to get vaccinated. People in close contact with babies should get vaccinated to protect the infants.

Some kids under nine may need two doses about a month apart. All recommended immunizations, including flu vaccines, are given at no cost for all kids in our state through age 18. Most health plans cover flu vaccinations for adults. For more resources call the Family Health Hotline at 1-800-322-2588.