State sees first flu death of season

KENNEWICK — A Tri-Cities woman in her 50s is the first flu death of the season in Washington.

State Health Department spokesman Marqise Allen says she died in the past week.

Benton-Franklin health officer Dr. Amy Person told the Tri-City Herald the woman had chronic medical conditions that put her at higher risk for complications from influenza.

Tim Church with the state Health Department says there were 54 deaths in the last flu season, which peaks in the winter. The most state flu deaths in recent years were 98 in the swine flu season of 2009-2010.

Health officials recommend flu vaccine shots for everyone older than 6 months.

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