Flu kills first Washington State resident of the season

NEW YORK -  OCTOBER 22:  A doctor draws out a flu shot at the Ryan Community Health Center October 22, 2004 in New York City. A shortage of flu shots is shaping up to be a political issue this election season, with Democrats accusing the Republican administration of negligence in dealing with the shortage.  (Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

NEW YORK - OCTOBER 22: A doctor draws out a flu shot at the Ryan Community Health Center October 22, 2004 in New York City. A shortage of flu shots is shaping up to be a political issue this election season, with Democrats accusing the Republican administration of negligence in dealing with the shortage. (Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

SPOKANE – A person in Spokane County has died of influenza, become the first flu victim of the season in Washington.

Health authorities didn’t release any information about the victim.

The Washington State Department of Health said the death is a reminder that everyone – including pregnant women – can benefit from an annual flu vaccine.

“People of all ages should get vaccinated before flu season is in full swing,” said the DOH’s Dr. Scott Lindquist. “Though flu season often peaks in winter, it’s unpredictable, and we urge people to get protected now.”

In Washington, all children under the age of 19 can get a flu shot from the state for free.