Laboratory testing has shown that a Tri-City area woman in her 50s died of the flu, making hers the first confirmed flu-related death of the season, the state health department announced Thursday.
Health officials are urging the public to get flu vaccinations to protect themselves and others. Everyone 6 months and older should get vaccinated, with young children, people 65 and older, pregnant women and people with chronic conditions such as asthma, diabetes and heart disease especially at risk, a health department news release said.
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 Dr. Maxine Hayes, state health officer, in the release. 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 vaccinations are available locally at many doctors offices, pharmacies and the Benton-Franklin Health District. To make an appointment with the health district, call 460-4200 for Kennewick and 547-9737 for Pasco.