3 flu deaths already reported in Washington

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - The Washington Health Department says a Pierce County boy and two older adults in King County are the first influenza deaths in the state this season.

The department said Thursday that flu activity is picking up across the state and it's urging everyone from six-months old on up to have an annual flu shot.

The boy who was younger than 12 was the first death, earlier in December. A man in his 80s and a woman in her 70s in King County died in the past two weeks.

The Health Department's Julie Graham says an average of two children and 25 adults die of the flu each year in the state. The worst flu season recently was 2009-2010 when 5 children and 95 adults died.

It's a different story in Oregon, where public health officials say flu activity remains low.

Jonathan Modie with the Oregon Health Authority said since October 1, there have been 17 flu-related hospitalizations in the metro area. He reported no dramatic upticks like some other places have seen.

There have been no pediatric flu deaths reported in Oregon this year.

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