Health officials are reporting the first death of the 2023-24 flu season in Grant County.

The Grant County Health District (GCHD) says the victim, whose gender and age were not released, had underlying health conditions.

GCHD spokesperson, Lexi Smith, says the fatality coincides with the district's official announcement of the start of flu season, which is being recognized along with two other illnesses.

"This year, we're releasing it as 'Respiratory Virus Season' because COVID(-19), RSV (respiratory syncytial virus), and the flu are all on the rise statewide. Right now, RSV is the most prominent of those three happening in Washington."

Smith says the health district is recommending that people get vaccinated to be protected against all three infections.

"We are encouraging everyone to get vaccinated, especially for COVID and flu before the season reaches its peak. For flu, that's anyone six months of age or older. They can schedule that with their healthcare provider or go into any pharmacy that offers one."

The flu-related death in Grant County marks the fourth fatality from influenza in Washington so far this season.

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Gallery Credit: Stephanie Parker

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