The flu has reached “epidemic levels” according to the Washington State.
Julie Graham with the Department of Health told KXRO that letters have been sent out to healthcare partners alerting them that influenza levels have reached the epidemic threshold for the year.
According to Graham, there is no way to get an exact picture as to how many in Washington have been stricken by the flu, but they have seen an increased number of labs and hospitals reporting numbers that are above the 5 year average for cases.
Before the first of the year, Grays Harbor Community Hospital urged any patients who were experiencing cold or flu symptoms “such as fever, coughing, sneezing, headaches or body aches” to not “visit” with any other patients while the hospital as to not spread the germs to anyone else.
“This is for your protection as well as the large number of patients we have currently hospitalized for Influenza A.”
According to the most recent weekly update from DOH, as of December 24 there were Nine lab-confirmed influenza deaths have been reported for the 2016-2017 season to date.
During the final week of the month, 2.2% of outpatient visits were for influenza-like illnesses, above the baseline of 1.1%.
According to the DOH, getting an annual flu vaccine is “the first and best way to protect yourself and your family from the flu”.
They recommend anyone who has not yet received a vaccine to find their nearest location that distributes them.
In Aberdeen, DOH lists Rite Aid, Safeway, and Walmart as having shots available.