Take a look at the chart below to compare this season's flu cases with last season, with consideration of the average over the last 5 seasons in yellow.
"It is never easy to report this type of news, especially so close to the holidays", Public Health Director Robert Resendes said in a news release.
Last flu season 278 people in Washington were confirmed to have died from influenza. A year ago there were only 347 at this time.
"If you were to acquire influenza A and it's in the cards that you're going to die, getting the vaccine would leave you hospitalized and alive", Rushton said.
"Flu activity has been accelerating over the past three weeks and more people could get sick", said Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county's public health officer.
"It could be that we're going into one of our worst seasons", he said.
"Older adults, individuals with chronic health conditions, pregnant women, young children and infants are more vulnerable to flu illness".
Rushton says if you have a really good, robust immune system and get the flu shot, then you're going to have some aches and pains and a low-grade temperature. Paul said the schools dismissing for the two-week Christmas break can help stem the spread of the flu and other illnesses.
Believe it or not, wash your hands. Scrub your hands for at least 30 seconds with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand cleaner.
Other suggestions for staying healthy include frequent hand-washing, using hand sanitizers, staying away from sick people, avoiding touching the eyes, nose or mouth, and cleaning commonly touched surfaces. Don't have a tissue?
The Department of Public Health encourages El Paso residents to call 2-1-1 to find a flu vaccine provider. The crook of your elbow will do.
Call - Call or see your doctor if you or your child has a fever greater than 100 degrees.