SEATTLE — State health officials say 20 people have died from the flu so far this season in Washington state.

The reported Wednesday that one of the deaths was in King County, four were in Pierce County and five were in Snohomish County.

Officials say most of the people who have died from the flu were older than 70 and had underlying health conditions.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, flu activity has jumped across the country, with 36 states now reporting widespread flu activity.

Health officials say annual flu vaccination is the best method of prevention against illness, followed by covering your cough, proper hand-washing and staying home from school or work when sick.

Officials say the shot can provide at least some protection and can help protect the most vulnerable populations who are at a higher risk from the flu.

Information from: Seattle Post-Intelligencer,

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