Flu Shot Update - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Flu Shot Update

PASCO, Wash. - According to the Benton Franklin County Health Department 36,000 people die in the United States every year because of flu related illnesses.  Many of the sick are elderly.

Every year there is an emphasis for the very young and the very old to make sure they get their flu shots because they are the most likely to become serious ill but many times it is the school aged kids that are spreading the flu.

Kids have returned to the classrooms after their winter break and they are sharing many germs.

Lindy Wellenbrock is a second grader who just recently got over being sick with the flu.  She said "I felt achy, my stomach hurt, my head hurt, I wanted to lay down but my little brother kept asking me to play."

School Nurse Peggy Henry said, "Anytime you put kids into a school and they are not outside they are sharing germs."

Benton Franklin County Public Health Nurse Heather Hill said they saw a flurry of flu cases in October.  She said they have seen a few recent cases and expect that number to increase in the next few weeks.

Hill said school aged kids are spreading a lot of germs.  She said, "The actual group that is responsible for giving the flu and passing it around is the school age kids. "

She said children need their shots, "They won't catch the flu to take home to grandma, grandpa or a vulnerable young sibling and we see less problems in the long run with the flu."

It is not too late to get your child vaccinated.  The health department said they have plenty of shots.

The flu season is expected to last until March.