California Department of Health confirms first flu death of person under 65

SACRAMENTO (KRON) — The California Department of Health has confirmed the first flu death of a person under 65 for this flu season.

Health officials say the death was reported in Los Angeles County.

“As this unfortunate case illustrates, the flu can be deadly and causes thousands of fatalities each year in the United States,” State Public Health Officer Dr. Karen Smith said. “Fortunately, people can get vaccinated to help keep them from getting sick and spreading the flu to others.”

While this is the first death, there have been 11 other cases where patients have needed treatment in intensive care.

The state health department recommends getting a flu vaccine each year to reduce your risk of getting sick.

Flu activity is usually the highest between December and February and can last through the spring, officials said.

“Common symptoms of the flu include fever or feeling feverish, a cough and/or sore throat, a runny or stuffy nose, chills, fatigue and body aches,” officials said in a press release.

Children may also have nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.

To stop the spread of flu and other respiratory illnesses, Californians should also:

  • Stay home when sick
  • Cover a cough or sneeze with a tissue and properly dispose of the used tissue
  • Wash hands thoroughly with soap and warm water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth

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