Flu is here; time for a shot

Flu has begun circulating in Washington communities, and flu vaccine is now widely available to protect everyone, according to the state Department of Health.

“Getting vaccinated every year against the flu is essential to protecting yourself and your family from this very serious illness,” said Dr. Kathy Lofy, the state’s health hfficer. “Vaccines to protect you this fall and winter are available at many pharmacies and healthcare providers. Everyone should get vaccinated.”

Flu is a highly contagious and serious disease that can cause moderate to severe illness, can lead to hospitalization and even be fatal. Last flu season, 296 people in Washington died from influenza-related conditions, thousands were sickened, and thousands more were hospitalized.

People 65 and older, young children, pregnant women, and people with chronic health conditions are at higher risk. However, anyone can get flu, including healthy young people.

“Last year was one of the most severe flu seasons on record for Washington,” Lofy said.

For help finding a health care provider or an immunization clinic, or to learn the signs and symptoms of flu, go online at knockoutflu.org.

Weekly reports throughout flu season track levels of the illness statewide, health officials said


Health authorities say a flu shot is essential to fighting off the flu.