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Flu activity increases in Washington, vaccinations still available

The Washington Department of Health is reminding residents there is still time to get vaccinated for the flu this season, as the illness is increasingly reported at doctors offices and hospitals across the state.

Three people in the Puget Sound area – a 12-year-old boy in Pierce County and two adults in King County – have died this winter from the flu.

“Any death from a preventable illness is upsetting, and it’s especially heartbreaking when a child dies,” said Secretary of Health Mary Selecky in a statement. “These deaths are a somber reminder that flu is serious and makes thousands sick in our state each year. With flu season picking up, it’s important to remember that we can protect ourselves and our loved ones with a flu shot.”

Anyone six months and older is encouraged to get a flu shot each year as the flu can be a serious illness even for people who are healthy. Shots are important especially for people 65 and older, young children, pregnant woman and woman who have recently given birth, as well as people with certain medical conditions.

It can take up to two week for those who have been vaccinated to be fully protected.

To learn more about the flu and the flu vaccine, visit the Department of Health website.

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