The Tri-Cities is seeing “a little more” flu activity this season than in the past couple of years, the community’s top public health official said.
Dr. Amy Person, health officer of the Benton-Franklin Health District, said residents should seek out flu shots and be sure to wash their hands, cover coughs and take other steps to prevent the spread of germs and stay healthy.
Three Kennewick schools — including Washington Elementary School on Wednesday — recently have reported having 10 percent of their enrollment absent, she said.
“Typically, once schools hit a 10 percent absentee rate, they will call us and let us know. They’ll let us know the symptoms and things they’re seeing,” Person told the Herald.
Kennewick schools have seen flulike illness, including fever and respiratory symptoms, she said. The health district hasn’t yet received similar reports from Richland or Pasco schools, Person said.
People who are sick should avoid contact with others, she said. And those at higher risk for complications, including people with heart or lung problems and the elderly or very young, especially should seek medical care if they become sick instead of trying to tough it out.