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Fight the flu this season—get vaccinated and keep up those healthy habits!

Fight the flu this season—get vaccinated and keep up those healthy habits! 

Like COVID-19, the flu isn’t just a bad cold; it’s a serious respiratory illness. Most years, the flu kills hundreds of people in Washington and sends thousands more to the hospital.

You can fight the flu in Pierce County with the same tools you use to stop the spread of COVID-19—get vaccinated and keep up those healthy habits. Stomping the flu will save lives and keep our hospitals from becoming overwhelmed.

Learn more about how to protect your health this season in our flu and COVID-19 infographic. Also available in Spanish, Korean, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Tagalog and Vietnamese.

Ready to fight the flu? Here’s what to do.

Get a flu shot. It’s your best protection against the flu:

  • It can stop you from getting the flu.
  • If you do get sick, your illness will be milder and shorter.
  • It protects those around you.
  • It protects you all season.

You can get a flu shot at a pharmacy or clinic. Visit our flu page to find a flu shot near you.

The healthy habits that stop the spread of COVID-19 help fight the flu, too:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water.
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow or a tissue.
  • Stay 6 feet away from people you don’t live with.
  • Stay home when you’re sick and call a healthcare provider.

After almost two years of fighting COVID-19, you probably don’t think twice about doing these things. And that’s great news because these healthy habits go a long way to protect our communities and keep them healthy.

’Tis the season to take illnesses even more seriously.

At the Health Department, we begin watching flu activity every October and monitor it until May. This year, we’ll be watching even more closely. You’ve heard of the danger COVID-19 poses to our hospitals. A bad flu season combined with COVID-19 could be devastating.

Anyone can get the flu, and everyone should get a flu shot. Some groups are at higher risk for severe illness:

  • Children under age 5 (especially under age 2).
  • Adults 65 or older.
  • Those who are pregnant.
  • Anyone living with a health condition like asthma, diabetes or heart disease.

COVID-19 and the flu share many symptoms like cough, fever, sore throat and body aches. If you feel like you might have either, stay home and call a healthcare provider.

Only tests can determine which infection you have. If you’re not in a high-risk group, please help keep the emergency room clear for life-threatening issues.

Adults 65 or older should specifically ask for the flu shot made just for them. These products offer a higher dose or an added ingredient to boost effectiveness.

Babies under age 6 months and people who have had severe allergic reactions to flu shots are the only people who should not get a flu shot. People with allergy to eggs can usually get a flu shot—talk to your healthcare provider.

This fall, let's stop the flu for all.

Flu activity during the week of Oct. 10-16, 2021

In Pierce County:

  • Flu activity was low.
  • Emergency rooms and urgent cares reported 26,145 visits, 341 (1.3%) of which were for flu-like illness.
  • Hospitals reported admitting 1,770 patients, 14 (0.8 %) of which had flu-like illness.
  • Local labs reported 570 flu tests; 0 were positive.
  • So far this season, no long-term care facility has reported a flu-like illness outbreak.
  • So far this season, no provider has reported a flu death.

In Washington:

  • Flu activity was low.
  • So far this season, no long-term care facility has reported a flu-like illness outbreak.
  • So far this season, no provider has reported a flu death.

In the United States:

  • Flu activity was low.
  • New Mexico and Washington D.C. reported moderate flu-like illness activity. All other areas reported low or minimal flu-like illness activity.

Together, we’re working hard to stop the spread of COVID-19. Let’s fight the flu, too, Pierce County!