Two Flu Deaths Reported in Thurston County 


Thurston County Public Health and Social Services on Wednesday reported that two county residents have died due to influenza.

According to a news release, the department was notified of the deaths on Friday, Dec. 2. 

To date there have been 13 influenza related deaths reported by the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) during the 2022-2023 influenza season, including two children.

Individuals who get sick with flu symptoms should stay home and avoid contact with others, except to get medical care, according to the release. 

While most people with flu have mild illness and do not need medical care or antiviral medications, certain people are at increased risk of serious complications including young children, people 65 and older, women who are pregnant and people with certain medical conditions. 

People in these higher risk groups are recommended to contact their health care provider if they develop flu symptoms.

“We are experiencing increased levels of viral respiratory illness in Thurston County and vaccination is key to preventing severe disease,” Thurston County Health Officer Dr. Dimyana Abdelmalek stated in the release. “I encourage Thurston County residents to get vaccinated for both COVID-19, including the bivalent booster when eligible, as well as the annual influenza vaccine. The influenza vaccine is recommended for everyone six months and older and is available at locations throughout the county. Getting vaccinated will not only protect you from severe disease but helps prevent the spread of the influenza virus in our community.”

In addition to the flu vaccine, Thurston County Public Health and Social Services offered additional tips for residents to lower their risk of illness and spread of all respiratory viruses, including:

  • Wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds with sudsy soap in warm water, or with hand sanitizer if soap and water is not convenient.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose where germs like to enter.
  • Stay home when you’re sick (even if it is “just a cold”) and isolate sick household members in separate rooms.
  • Wear a mask in crowded or poorly ventilated settings.
  • Limit the number of close contacts for young infants and individuals with certain chronic conditions.
  • Clean high-touch surfaces frequently with a cleaner that is known to kill these common viruses.