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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Washington flu deaths increase to 46; now at epidemic level

Jan. 13, 2017 Updated Fri., Jan. 13, 2017 at 9:14 p.m.

In this  2009 file photo, a patient gets a flu shot. (Mary Ann Chastain / Associated Press)
In this 2009 file photo, a patient gets a flu shot. (Mary Ann Chastain / Associated Press)
Associated Press

SEATTLE (AP) – Health officials say the number of flu deaths in Washington state is up to 46.

The reported the Washington state Department of Health said Friday the flu is now at an epidemic level in the state.

Officials say 38 of the 46 deaths occurred in people who were 65 or older.

Officials say influenza infection numbers are extremely high in Washington, as they are in many states. Hospitalization rates in Snohomish county are nearly double the 2014-2015 season and triple what the state saw last year.

Officials say the number of deaths through last week is the highest it has been in the last five seasons, though the 2014-2015 season had tallied 45 by then.

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