TRI-CITIES, Wash. — Local health officials say there have been several cases of the flu already in Benton and Franklin Counties. They say at least one person has even been hospitalized.
They say flu cases and hospitalizations aren't reported or tracked like flu deaths are, but they can say this year seems relatively normal. They predict there will be a big spike in the flu after the first of the year. Which might have a lot to do with the holiday season.
"What we typically will see is more flu cases after that, and that's because usually you have lots of people coming together in close contact. Sometimes it can be stressful,” said Dr. Amy Person with Benton-Franklin Health District.
Dr. Person says hand washing and cough hygiene can make a difference during the holidays. She also says if you haven't gotten your flu shot yet, now is the time. It does take a few weeks to kick in.