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MARKETPLACE:  Auto | Jobs | Personals | Yellow Pages  January 27, 2004
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Washington State Adds 3 Flu Deaths to Mounting Toll
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Deaths from the flu continue to occur earlier than usual, with three elderly Washington State residents joining a list that includes four Colorado children.

The Seattle Times reports that all three victims were residents of a nursing home in Yakima County. "We're right in the middle of it. It's the earliest (flu-season start) I've ever seen," Phyllis Shoemaker, an influenza epidemiologist for the state Department of Health told the newspaper.

According to the Times, nearly 4,000 cases have been reported in Washington state alone so far, and Texas and Nevada have also had a large number of cases.

In the last week, flu has claimed the lives of 2-year-old and 21-month-old Colorado children who had had no other medical problems. It has also killed an 8-year-old and a 15-year-old who did have medical complications, according to the Rocky Mountain News.

About 36,000 people die from the flu in the United States each year. This year, because of the early incidents and deaths, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials have urged flu vaccinations, especially for the young and elderly.


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