Washington state experiences deadliest flu season in 5 years

May 12, 2023, 10:24 AM | Updated: 12:39 pm

deadliest Flu shot...

Nurse prepares a flu shot. (Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

Flu season in Washington state was the deadliest in five years, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Two-hundred sixty-two people died in Washington in 2022, a tenfold increase from 2021.

In Washington state, flu activity rose at the end of October and peaked by the end of November. As of the end of April, there was only minimal flu activity.

Nationwide, the CDC says 57,000 flu deaths occurred between Oct. 1 – April 29, 2023.

“While respiratory illness precautions such as masking and social distancing helped keep the number of flu cases low during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s especially important now that most of us are around other people again to get a flu vaccine every year,” Health Secretary Umair A. Shah said. “The flu vaccine is your best protection against this serious disease. Even if you get the flu, if you’ve been vaccinated, your illness is milder, and you aren’t as likely to need to go to the hospital.”

The CDC said there were as many as 640,000 flu hospitalizations nationally.

Facing Fentanyl: Addicts find their way out

Officials blame the decrease on fewer people getting a flu shot. Despite vaccine effectiveness, flu vaccination rates have decreased nationally in certain groups. Rates for children dropped more than 6%, and rates for pregnant people decreased by nearly 15% compared with pre-pandemic rates.

The Health Department recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone six months and older. If you are 65 or older, talk to your doctor first.

Some people who get the flu vaccine may still get sick. If you get the flu, the vaccine will help reduce the severity of your illness. It will also lower your chance of needing to go to the hospital.

Practicing healthy habits such as frequently washing hands, staying home when sick, and wearing masks in crowded spaces also help prevent the spread of the flu. These precautions protect people in our community who are most likely to be affected by severe flu disease, including:

  • People over age 65.
  • People who are immunocompromised.
  • Children under age five.
  • Pregnant people.
  • People with chronic health conditions.

MyNorthwest News

Image: Then-Republican gubernatorial candidate Loren Culp smiles while greeting supporters as he ar...

Julia Dallas

Rep. Maycumber threatens legal action against Loren Culp amid social media tirade

On Tuesday, Maycumber's office announced it sent a cease-and-desist letter to Loren Culp after a barrage of social media posts.

1 minute ago

Photo: People pump gas at a Shell gas station on August 03, 2023....

James Lynch

AAA: Washington’s gas prices 3rd highest in the country

It is official, Washington are paying the third highest gas prices in the country -- and prices could go even higher.

20 minutes ago

Photo: Smoke from wildfires fills the air along Alaskan Way on September 12, 2020 in Seattle, Washi...

Julia Dallas

Brace yourself for weeks of poor air quality in 2024, Seattle residents

Unfortunately, bad air quality will plague the Seattle area for three weeks this year. And the trend is projected to get worse.

2 hours ago

fake botox...

Kate Stone

Toxic ‘fake Botox’ case linked to Washington

Federal officials are investigating reports of a fake Botox product that has reportedly sickened people across nine states, including Washington.

4 hours ago

Image:One of the last photos taken of Jordan Rasmussen shows him enjoying Christmas morning 1981 wi...

Amy Donaldson - Executive Producer, KSL Podcasts

The Letter podcast debuts 2nd season on 1982 murders of 2 fathers

Season 2 of the podcast highlights generational questions about trauma and forgiveness stemming from the 1982 murders of two young fathers.

5 hours ago

google protest...

Frank Sumrall

Google workers protesting company over $1.2 billion contract with Israel

The protest, made up of tech workers, is calling for Google to end work on Project Nimbus -- a cloud computing project for the Israeli government.

6 hours ago

Washington state experiences deadliest flu season in 5 years