During the 2022-23 flu season, the Washington State Department of Health says 262 residents died from the flu, ten times more than in 2021-22.

 Why were flu rates so low the previous year?

The WA DOH says 257 adults and five children died during this past flu season, a marked increase over 2021-22, which saw just 26 people die from the illness.

The highest death rate in recent years was 296 people in the season of 2017-18. The WA DOH news release does not go into great depth about why the rates rose so rapidly, but according to a Havard University research study, it was due to previous COVID precautions.

According to the Harvard Report:

 "Precautions taken to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, including wearing masks and distancing, are likely the major reason for a steep decline of flu cases in the U.S."

Because of the significant measures taken during COVID, the 'normal' flu season did not really occur. These precautions prevented the virus from working its way through the population as it usually does.

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This last season, the DOH says the flu season began to rise sharply in October and peaked in November.

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