Another Tri-Citian has died from the flu

Another person in the Tri-Cities has died from the flu.

The Benton County woman in her 80s is the second confirmed flu fatality in the area so far this season.

She died earlier this week, the Benton-Franklin Health District reported Thursday. It’s unclear whether she was vaccinated against the illness.

A Benton County man in his 70s also died from the flu last week. The health district confirmed his death on Monday.

“Twenty people died from the flu last year in our area,” said Dr. Amy Person, health officer. “Flu activity is picking up, but there is still time to get a flu shot.”

The shot offers the best protection against the flu, Person said.

Getting vaccinated also protects others, including young children, pregnant women, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems, who all are at higher risk for complications if they become sick.

Flu vaccines are widely available in the Tri-Cities, including at pharmacies, health care provider offices and the health district.

People also should wash their hands frequently, cover their coughs and stay home when sick to avoid catching and keep from spreading the illness.