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MOSES LAKE - New data implies that the flu is deadlier in 2022-2023 compared to recent years past.

On Monday, the Grant County Health District confirmed three new flu deaths and one death that was likely flu related. The confirmed deaths occurred in a female in her 80s, a female in her 60s, and a male in his 60s.

Local health leaders say flu cases have maintained an early and steady incline during the 2022-2023 flu season. Flu cases in Grant County reportedly hit their peak in late December and have now hit a plateau. Influenza A remains the dominant strain.

“These deaths are a painful reminder of the high influenza activity seen in our country and also in our area, especially at the end of the year. We offer our sincere condolences to the families and friends who lost their loved ones,” said Dr. Brzezny, Grant County Health Officer. “As the flu season continues in the United States, it is still appropriate to continue vaccinating against this virus to reduce the chance of severe complications,” he added.

A total of 24 flu deaths have been reported between Benton, Chelan, Douglas, Franklin, Grant, Kittitas, Klickitat, Okanogan, Walla Walla, and Yakima counties.

Washington is reporting 168 laboratory-confirmed flu-associated deaths to date. Most deaths have occurred in people with underlying health conditions, or in people with no pre-existing conditions but who were elderly. Four deaths have occurred in children.

Health officials are urging everyone to get their flu immunization shots.