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Flu activity higher than last year in Washington, with three confirmed deaths

UPDATED: Thu., Jan. 27, 2022

A seasonal influenza vaccine is administered in Gelnhausen, Germany, on Nov. 24.  (Alex Kraus/Bloomberg)
A seasonal influenza vaccine is administered in Gelnhausen, Germany, on Nov. 24. (Alex Kraus/Bloomberg)

Three people have died from influenza already during this year’s flu season in Washington, according to the Department of Health.

This is more than last year’s barely existent flu season, during which no one died from the flu; health officials say this was in large part due to COVID, and the masking, distancing, remote learning and occupancy limits that came with it.

Flu season, in years before the pandemic, tended to ebb and flow. Some years are more deadly than others, and it’s too early to tell how this year’s flu season will be.

By this point in the 2019-20 flu season, there had already been 36 flu deaths. But at this same point during the 2015-16 flu season, there had been just eight flu deaths.

In total, 114 influenza-related deaths were reported in Washington during the 2019-2020 flu season.

Health officials are encouraging Washington resident to get their flu shots if they haven’t already.

Flu activity typically peaks between December and February, but can last until as late as May.

Arielle Dreher's reporting for The Spokesman-Review is primarily funded by the Smith-Barbieri Progressive Fund, with additional support from Report for America and members of the Spokane community. These stories can be republished by other organizations for free under a Creative Commons license. For more information on this, please contact our newspaper’s managing editor.

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