(Kennewick, WA) -- The Benton Franklin Health District says they have recorded the first reported Influenza-linked death in the area for 2022. The victim was a man said to be in his 90s.

“Our hearts go out to the family. This is a reminder that influenza is a dangerous virus, and we cannot stress enough the importance of vaccinations,” said Benton-Franklin Health District’s Public Health Nurse Heather Hill.

Benton Franklin Health District says everyone aged six months and older should get the flu vaccine every year. The District says it helps reduce the severity of the illness if you come down with the flu, and lowers your chances for hospitalization.

In a news release, the District notes that with several respiratory illnesses impacting Benton and Franklin counties this winter, it is possible to get sick from multiple diseases at once, so they recommend taking extra precautions during holiday gatherings to keep your loved ones safe. The Health District is offering flu prevention tips as well, like washing your hands often, avoiding touching your face, covering your cough and disinfecting surfaces that may be contaminated.

They also advise you to wear a mask (indoors, in crowded areas and if you are ill) and have good ventilation.

Flu Symptoms Can Include:

:•Fever or feeling feverish/chills

•Cough•Sore throat•Runny or stuffy nose

•Muscle or body aches•Headaches•Fatigue (tiredness)

•Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.

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