- Associated Press - Friday, December 30, 2016

EVERETT, Wash. (AP) - Influenza has killed four people in the past week in Snohomish County - the first local deaths of this influenza season.

The Daily Herald reports ( https://bit.ly/2hTXo4I ) the deaths included a man and woman from Arlington, both in their 80s; a woman in her early 50s from Everett; and another woman in her late 80s whose hometown was not immediately available.

All had underlying health conditions that make people more vulnerable to flu.

Heather Thomas, a spokeswoman for the Snohomish Health District, says local hospitals are seeing a surge in influenza cases, with the number of patients hospitalized with flu doubling each week since early December.

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