OLYMPIA, Wash. – Two individuals in Thurston County have tragically lost their lives due to complications from the flu, bringing the total number of flu-related deaths in Washington state to 31 this season. These heartbreaking fatalities serve as a stark reminder of the serious impact that influenza can have on our communities.
It is crucial for everyone to take steps to protect themselves and others by getting vaccinated and practicing good hygiene, such as washing hands regularly and covering coughs and sneezes. By doing so, we can help reduce the spread of the flu and prevent further loss of life.
According to the Washington State Department of Health (DOH), the flu has claimed the lives of two residents in Thurston County. This brings the total number of flu-related deaths in Washington during the 2023-2024 season to 31, including one child.
If you are experiencing flu symptoms, the Department of Health (DOH) advises you to refrain from coming into contact with others, unless they are providing you with medical care.
The Department of Health (DOH) emphasizes that although the flu typically causes mild symptoms for most individuals, there are specific groups who face a higher risk of experiencing severe complications. These include children, individuals aged 65 and older, pregnant women, and those with certain medical conditions.
If individuals belonging to the aforementioned higher-risk groups experience flu symptoms, it is advised for them to reach out to their healthcare provider, as per the DOH.
According to the DOH, every year, hundreds of thousands of people nationwide require hospitalization due to illnesses related to the flu.
To lower your risk of illness and prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, the DOH recommends the following tips:
- Wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds with sudsy soap in warm water, or with hand sanitizer if soap and water is not convenient.
- Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose where germs like to enter.
- Stay home when you’re sick (even if it is “just a cold”) and isolate sick household members in separate rooms.
- Wear a mask in crowded or poorly ventilated settings.
- Limit the number of close contacts for young infants and individuals with certain chronic conditions.
- Clean high-touch surfaces frequently with a cleaner that is known to kill these common viruses.