Roll up your sleeves and fight the fight flu

Roll up your sleeves and fight the fight flu

Most years, the flu kills hundreds of people in Washington and sends thousands more to the hospital. Nationally, the numbers are much higher. Health officials are hoping everyone helps keep the numbers in check during the current flu season that has about five more months to go.

At the best, anyone can get the bug and suffer fevers, coughs, sore throats and body aches for several days. People who are at the most risk of getting severely ill include anyone 65 and older. Others who are high-risk include anyone with asthma, diabetes or heart disease, children under 5 years old, and pregnant women.

To fight the flu, here’s what to do:

  • Get a flu shot, the best protection. It can stop you from getting the flu, and if you do get sick, your illness will be milder and shorter. It also protects those around you. You can get a flu shot at a pharmacy or clinic.
  • Where to get a flu vaccine, plus sources of other flu-fighting information, is available from Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department at and 253-649-1500 and from Seattle-King County Public Health at and 206-296-4600.
  • Practice healthy habits, some of them already ingrained after two years of guarding against COVID-19: Wash hands often with soap and water. Cough or sneeze into your elbow or a tissue. Stay at least six feet away from people you don’t live with. And stay home when you’re sick (calling a healthcare provider could help, too).

Health officials monitor flu activity from October until May. As of early November in Washington, the amount of cases was low, which is what officials hope for season-long. A bad flu season, combined with the COVID-19 pandemic, could add to the impact of COVID on public health and hospitals, officials noted.

A flu shot is the beset protection against the annual bug that makes thousands seriously ill or worse.