19 Deaths From the Flu in the State of Washington - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

19 Deaths From the Flu in the State of Washington

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The flu reaches peak levels in the state of Washington. At least 19 lab-confirmed flu deaths have been reported in Washington since December. The flu reaches peak levels in the state of Washington. At least 19 lab-confirmed flu deaths have been reported in Washington since December.

NBCRightNow.com - The flu reaches peak levels in the state of Washington. At least 19 lab-confirmed flu deaths have been reported in Washington since December.

The state Department of Health says only lab-confirmed deaths are reportable in the state, so the actual number of flu deaths is likely higher.

"The flu can be a serious disease," said Dr. Kathy Lofy, Interim State Health Officer. "People of all ages can get very sick. Getting vaccinated is the best protection and can help people avoid severe illness, hospitalization, and even death."

The virus is widespread in Washington. Most confirmed cases across the nation and in the state have been the 2009 H1N1 strain, which is covered by this season's flu vaccine.

The health department recommends a vaccination for everyone six months and older. It's especially important for people at high risk for complications from flu, including young children, pregnant women, people 65 and older, and people with certain medical conditions — such as asthma, heart disease, diabetes, and neurologic conditions.

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