Health district flu report: 20 flu-related deaths since December

KENNEWICK, WA - A second Benton County resident - a woman in her 80s - has died from influenza-related illness. It's the second flu-related death in Benton County since the first of the year, according to the Benton-Franklin Health District.

A Benton County man in his 70s has died from the flu on Monday, January 7 - the first flu-related death of the year.

Dr. Amy Person, Health Officer for Benton and Franklin Counties, emphasized that flu activity is increasing and it's not too late to get a flu vaccine. "Twenty people died from the flu last year in our area," she said. "Flu activity is picking up, but there is still time to get a flu shot."

Flu shots offer the best protection against influenza, the Benton-Franklin Health District says. It is offered at pharmacies, health care providers and the Health District.

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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.

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