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Recent News

Visit the Health News and Alerts page

Dec. 14, 2023

Key messages

  • We’re sad to report a Pierce County woman in her 70s died from flu on Dec. 2.
  • Learn more about how social isolation and loneliness can affect your health.
  • Are you ready for heavy rain and freezing temps?


Pierce County has its first flu death of the season.

A Pierce County woman died from flu on Dec. 2. She was in her 70s and had underlying health conditions. It was Pierce County’s first flu death of the season. You can take simple steps to protect yourself and those you love from respiratory illness. 

  • Get vaccinated. Ask your healthcare provider or pharmacy when and where you can get all your doses of vaccine.
    • Flu vaccine is available for people 6 months or older.
    • COVID-19 vaccine is available for people 6 months or older.
    • RSV vaccine is available for people 60 years or older or who are pregnant. RSV antibody protection is available for babies.
  • Wash your hands often. Use soap and warm water.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes. If you use a tissue, throw it in the trash and wash your hands.
  • If you’re sick, stay home. If you’re well, avoid places where sick people are.

Learn more in this Your Reliable Source blog.

How can loneliness affect your health?

  • Did you know social isolation and loneliness effects your physical and mental health? Strong social connections actually boost life expectancy. U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy, released an advisory in May, calling attention to the public health crisis of loneliness, isolation, and lack of connection in our country.
  • Dr. Murthy called the state of loneliness and isolation an epidemic in the United States.
  • Increasing social connections are as important as decreasing tobacco use, obesity, and other health related issues. People who are lonely or isolated have a:
    • 29% increased risk of heart disease.
    • 32% increased risk of stroke.
    • 50% increased risk of developing dementia for older adults.
  • A lack of social connection increases our risk of premature death by more than 60%.

What can you do to reverse this trend?

  • Get to know their neighbors!
  • Check on your friends!
  • Enjoy time together.
  • Get involved with something you are passionate about.

Watch our Behavioral Health Promotion and Policy Coordinator Elizabeth Allen discuss loneliness on KBTC’s Northwest Now to learn more.  

Be ready when waters rise and temperatures fall

Winter weather is here. Are you ready for heavy rain, flooding, and extreme cold temperatures?

Learn more at

Read and share our reliable information

Stay informed on many health topics affecting you, your family, and your community. Let’s work together to protect and improve the health of all people and places in Pierce County. Sign up for our email updates and check out these great resources: