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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, December 7, 2022
Contact:
Renae Miller, Public Information Specialist, Thurston County Public Health and Social Services, (360) 968-3462 or renae.miller@co.thurston.wa.us

Two Influenza Related Deaths Reported in Thurston County
Two Thurston County resident influenza deaths have been reported.

OLYMPIA – On Friday, December 02, 2022 Thurston County Public Health and Social Services (PHSS) was notified of two influenza related deaths in Thurston County residents. To date there have been 13 influenza related deaths reported by the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) during the 2022-2023 influenza season, including two children. 

Individuals who get sick with flu symptoms should stay home and avoid contact with others, except to get medical care. While most people with flu have mild illness and do not need medical care or antiviral medications, certain people are at increased risk of serious complications including young children, people 65 and older, pregnant people, and people with certain medical conditions. People in these higher risk groups are recommended to contact their health care provider if they develop flu symptoms. 

Thurston County Health Officer Dr. Dimyana Abdelmalek states, “We are experiencing increased levels of viral respiratory illness in Thurston County and vaccination is key to preventing severe disease. I encourage Thurston County residents to get vaccinated for both COVID-19, including the bivalent booster when eligible, as well as the annual influenza vaccine. The influenza vaccine is recommended for everyone six months and older and is available at locations throughout the county. Getting vaccinated will not only protect you from severe disease but helps prevent the spread of the influenza virus in our community.” 

In addition to the flu vaccine there are several things you and your family can do to lower your risk of illness and spread of all respiratory viruses including the following:
  • Wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds with sudsy soap in warm water, or with hand sanitizer if soap and water is not convenient.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose where germs like to enter.
  • Stay home when you’re sick (even if it is “just a cold”) and isolate sick 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 that is known to kill these common viruses.
Every year hundreds of thousands of people in the United States are hospitalized from flu-related illnesses. For more information on how to protect yourself from influenza please visit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Washington State Department of Health

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County Commissioners:

Carolina Mejia
District 1

Gary Edwards
District 2

Tye Menser
District 3