Two people have died as a result of influenza so far this season in Grays Harbor County.
Karolyn Holden, director of the county’s Public Health and Social Services Department, didn’t disclose personal information about the two who died, but did say both had underlying health conditions that contributed to their deaths from the flu.
Along with people who suffer from underlying chronic and respiratory diseases, other groups of people vulnerable to the ill-effects of the flu are seniors, pregnant women and children younger than age 2.
“It’s not too late to get a flu shot,” urged Holden. The shot is considered by health experts the best way to avoid the flu or at least lessen it severity.
There have been 76 flu deaths statewide, according to the State Department of Health’s report containing information through Jan. 14. All but four of the people were at least 50 years old. That report includes only one of the fatal flu cases in Grays Harbor County.
Local health officials believe the outbreak peaked in Grays Harbor County about a week ago. “Every community is going to have a beginning, peak, then a tapering off in the number of cases,” Holden said. The West Coast has been hit hard this season and “we hope it’s (already) done it’s big sweep locally.”
The flu season doesn’t officially end until May.