OLYMPIA, Wash. - The holidays are synonymous with travel, parties, and get-togethers. And that creates opportunities for people to spread illnesses like the flu. The state Department of Health recommends getting a flu vaccine to protect yourself and your family and avoid falling under the weather this holiday season.
The flu is more serious than the common cold, and it can cause complications that lead to hospitalization and death. A Tri-Cities area woman in her 50s was recently reported as the state’s first laboratory-confirmed flu-related death this season. The virus can spread before a person knows they’re sick. Many people with flu have a fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, body aches, and fatigue.
You can do something about it – get vaccinated and use good health manners to avoid getting or giving flu this season. Cover your cough, wash your hands, and stay home and away from others when you’re sick. It takes two weeks after vaccination to be protected.
“Getting a yearly flu vaccine is the first and most important thing you can do to protect yourself and avoid spreading the flu to others, especially people who may be more vulnerable,” said State Health Officer Dr. Maxine Hayes. “There are many options of the flu vaccine this year. Ask your health care provider about which one is best for you and your family.”