Experts report one of the worst flu seasons in years with widesp - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Experts report one of the worst flu seasons in years with widespread activity

Posted: Updated:

1-26-18 UPDATE:

KENNEWICK, WA - The flu season has hit hard and fast, and could last for the next 10 weeks.

Experts say it's on track to be one of the worst seasons in years, with 49 states reporting "widespread" flu activity.

46 people have died in Washington, and in Oregon at least two children have died...but it's hard to get numbers in Oregon because health officials there do not track adult deaths from the flu.

People older than 65 are most likely to be hospitalized for complications from the flu.

Young children usually fall right behind, but this particularly nasty virus is hitting people over age 50 hard. Experts say people who seem to be recovering from the flu but then have a setback should seek immediate medical attention.

People with the flu often have severe muscle aches, fever, stuffy nose, and extreme fatigue.

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KENNEWICK, WA -  Benton-Franklin Health District is reporting that two more area residents have died from influenza. The most recent cases were a woman in her 80's who lived in Franklin County and a man in his 70's from Benton County.

All of the deceased were at increased risk due to age or underlying health conditions, but the majority had not received flu vaccines.

Dr. Amy Person, Health Officer for Benton and Franklin Counties said that local flu activity remains high and that residents should take precautions.

“The flu vaccine is still the best protection we have against influenza and it’s not too late to get a flu shot for this year,” said Dr. Person. “Everyone over the age of six months should get a flu shot to protect themselves and others.” Flu shots are offered at pharmacies, health care providers and the Health District.

In addition to getting vaccinated, flu prevention tips include washing your hands often, avoid touching your face, cover your cough and stay home when you’re sick.

Additional information is available from the Washington State Department of Health at https://www.doh.wa.gov/YouandYourFamily/IllnessandDisease/Flu and the Centers for Disease Control https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/season/flu-season-2017-2018.htm.

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