The Thurston County Public Health and Social Services (PHSS) reported this week that two county residents have died of influenza in the 2023-24 season. As of last week, 31 people, including one child, have died of flu this season in Washington, and influenza-like illness activity remains high.
Individuals who become sick should remain home and avoid contact with others, except to get medical treatment. Medical treatment is not necessary in most instances, but it may be required for people in higher risk categories.
According to the PHSS, higher-risk groups include young children, people 65 and older, pregnant people and people with certain medical conditions.
For more information on influenza trends in Thurston County, go to thurstoncountywa.gov/respiratory-illnesses. For more information on how to protect yourself, go to cdc.gov/flu/prevent/prevention.htm or doh.wa.gov/you-and-your-family/illness-and-disease-z/flu.
In addition to the flu vaccine, the PHSS recommends people do the following to reduce the risk of spread:
• Washing your hands often, for at least 20 seconds, with sudsy soap in warm water, or apply hand sanitizer
• Avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose, which is where germs like to enter
• Stay home when sick and isolate ill household members in separate rooms
• Wear a mask in crowded or poorly ventilated settings
• Limit the number of close contacts for young infants and individuals with certain chronic conditions
• Clean high-touch surfaces frequently with a cleaner known to kill these common viruses