- Associated Press - Monday, January 26, 2015

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - Idaho health officials are urging residents to protect themselves from the flu following a spike in flu-related deaths in the state.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare in a statement Monday says 16 flu-related deaths have been reported through Thursday.

Officials say that’s up from three flu-related deaths through Jan. 8.

The state agency says most of the deaths involve people over the age of 80. Authorities say children and adults over 65 are the most susceptible.

Deputy State Epidemiologist Leslie Tengelsen advises getting a flu shot.

Tengelsen says those who get the flu should get rapid treatment with antiviral medications.

Experts say preventive measures include washing hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, staying home when sick, and avoiding those who appear sick.

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