Flu cases starting to spread in the region

Reports of more flu cases are coming in from around the Mid-Columbia region.

Influenza cases were confirmed this week in Grant, Kittitas and Yakima counties, as well as neighboring Canadian provinces, Grant County Health District officials said Friday.

The first Tri-City flu cases already were cropping up in doctor offices and clinics in early November.

Health officials are reminding adults with the flu that they can make others sick one day before symptoms appear and up to five days after symptoms begin. Because of that, people should be careful when they cough around others, covering their nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing and washing their hands often.

People diagnosed with the flu should stay at home until the fever and cough are gone, and masks are recommended for ill mothers when caring for their babies.

Health officials also say getting a flu shot is the best way to prevent getting the flu. In the Tri-Cities, the health district offers vaccinations by appointment, by calling 460-4200.