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Originally published January 7, 2013 at 3:26 PM | Page modified January 7, 2013 at 3:53 PM

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3 more influenza deaths in Washington

Three more people have died from the flu in Western Washington, bringing the total of reported state deaths to six, health officials said Monday.

The Associated Press

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SEATTLE —

Three more people have died from the flu in Western Washington, bringing the total of reported state deaths to six, health officials said Monday.

The Snohomish Health District reported three deaths in late December in Snohomish hospitals: a Bothell woman in her 40s, an Everett woman in her 80s and an Edmonds woman in her 80s. All three had underlying medical conditions.

State health officials believe the six influenza deaths reported across the state so far are likely just a fraction of the total, because only laboratory-confirmed flu deaths are reportable.

Health Department spokesman Donn Moyer said there are likely more deaths where flu played a role but the person was not tested for influenza.

In late December, state health officials reported three other laboratory-confirmed deaths: a Pierce County boy under 12 years old, a King County man in his 80s and a King County woman in her 70s.

Health officials are urging everyone over 6 months old to get a flu shot, to wash their hands often and to stay home if they are sick.

People at high risk of complications from the flu include young children, people 65 and older, pregnant women and women who recently gave birth, and people with certain medical conditions like asthma or diabetes.

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