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A recent report in Yakima County shows the number of flu cases has tripled from last year

A recent report in Yakima County shows the number of flu cases has tripled from last year

YAKIMA, Wash. -- If you haven’t gotten your flu shot yet, you might want to think about getting it soon.

A recent report shows that in the Yakima County the number of flu cases has tripled from last year.

Resident Jessica Johnson says she gets her flu shot every year to make sure she and her family are protected.

“I have a new baby and he’s too young to get the flu shot and to be protected himself, so it’s important for me to be protected so that I don’t pass along the flu to him," said Johnson.

But according to the Yakima Health District, last year by this time, there were 16 reported flu cases, and this year the number went up with 57 cases so far.

23 of these cases were reported just in the last week.

Senior Director of Quality for Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic Lori Kelley says they expect to see heavier flu activity by the end of December and the month of January.

The flu is most dangerous among infants, children and senior citizens.

Kelley says for people who contract the flu and have not gotten a flu shot, the consequences could be serious including hospitalization and even death.

“There have been five laboratory confirmed deaths related to influenza this season in Washington State," said Kelley.

The Health District also tracks respiratory syncytial virus cases, a common virus that infects the respiratory tract of most children and causes cold like symptom.

RSV cases have also gone up with 147 reported cases so far.

This is why people are being urged to get their flu shot to prevent any flu like illnesses.

“The best way to protect yourself or your family from influenza is to get a flu shot. It does take about two weeks from the time you get the shot to actually start building up your immunity," said Kelley.

She says people should also remember to cover their mouth when coughing or sneezing and always use great hand hygiene.

For a list of places to get a flu shot click here.

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