Health
A 2010 photo for a flu shot drive.
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A 2010 photo for a flu shot drive.

First flu death in Washington state confirmed

State health officials have reported the first confirmed flu death of the season.

A Pierce County man in his 40s died Monday in a hospital from flu-related complications. County health officials said he had "chronic health concerns."

Danielle Koenig, with the Washington State Department of Health, said there's no excuse not to get your flu shot.

"Flu is a serious disease that can cause severe illness and death in any age, even in healthy people, so getting vaccinated is the best protection you have against flu and its complications," she said.

Read more: She got the flu. Then she needed a transplant

Koenig said your doctor can give you a shot, many pharmacies have them, and if you still need help: "You can just go to KnockOutFlu.org and then there's a little widget right at the top, you put in your address and it'll tell you where to go."

Health officials emphasize that the flu vaccine doesn't give you the flu, though there may be side effects, such as soreness around the injection spot.

Koenig said that last year 296 people in Washington died from the flu.

Nationally, about 80,000 people died in the 2017-18 flu season, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

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