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Flu deaths on the rise in Washington, mom urges vaccines after death of daughter

Pegy Lowery keeps her daughter's spirit alive. As hard as it is, she wants everyone to hear Piper's story. (KOMO News)

SEATTLE -- The death toll this flu season is spiking in Washington and the season is far from over.

Nineteen counties have at least one lab-confirmed flu death and the state just had its first pediatric death recorded this season.

Now, another mother is sharing her story as a warning to parents.

Pegy Lowery keeps her daughter's spirit alive. As hard as it is, she wants everyone to hear Piper's story.

"I just keep pushing forward because I'm her voice," Lowery said.

This week marked two years since 12-year-old Piper died form the flu.

Right now, the flu is widespread across the country and in the state.

The statewide death toll nearly doubled in a week and currently sits at 86.

That is fewer deaths than this time last year, but still a big concern for the state Department of Health.

The Health Department urges people to get the flu shot if they haven't already.

For Lowery's daughter Piper, she wasn't vaccinated.

"I beg people to get the flu shot," Lowery said.

Pegy is now part of a movement. She is a leader in the Flu Hat Campaign. They send caps to hospitals and doctors offices to spread awareness.

The caps come with information about how to get the flu shot and protect yourself from influenza.

"She made a huge difference," Lowery said about her daughter.

The Department of Health said emergency rooms have been overwhelmed with flu cases. They are asking people to not go to the hospital unless it really is an emergency.

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