Benton-Franklin Health District preparing for influx of RSV, flu patients


TRI-CITIES, Wash. — The Benton-Franklin Health District is cautioning area residents about a rise in RSV and flu cases across the Mid-Columbia Basin.  

BFHD said it has been seeing reports of surging cases on the east coast and is now seeing the illnesses spread to the west coast. The health district said it typically follows the trends of the west coast by a few weeks.  

With hospitals already dealing with high patient volumes, low staffing numbers and high volumes of respiratory illnesses, BFHD is asking people take precautions.  

Those precautions include getting COVID-19 vaccinations and updated boosters and the flu vaccine. People are encouraged to practice good hand-hygiene, cover their coughs and stay home when sick.  

READ: Umatilla School District cancels school Tuesday due to rise in illnesses

Anyone not experiencing a life-threatening emergency is asked to call their primary care doctor or visit a walk-in clinic before going to the emergency room.  

BFHD said people should only call 911 if you are experiencing a severe illness and need immediate medical attention.