First flu death in Solano County reported this season

(BCN)—Solano County health officials today confirmed the first influenza death in the county for the 2016-2017 flu season.

The person was under 65 years old and had a medical condition that put the victim at risk of severe illness, Solano County Deputy Public Health Officer Dr. Michael Stacey said.

There have been three reports of influenza-associated deaths in patients under age 65 in California since Dec. 24, according to the California Department of Public Health.

Influenza activity in California is increasing with most activity in Northern and Central California and the Bay Area, state public health officials said.

Influenza in the United States normally peaks in December through February and may continue until May. It is mild in most people but can be a severe infection that results in hospitalization and death.

Annual flu shots are recommended for everyone six months of age or older. People at risk of complications include children younger than five years old, adults over 65, pregnant women and people with heart or lung disease, diabetes or weakened a immune system, according to health officials.

Other precautions to avoid the flu include washing your hands often with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand rub, covering coughs and sneezes, staying home when ill and avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

Solano County health officials are offering free flu vaccinations at the Kroc Center at 586 East Wigeon Way in Suisun City 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jan. 28.

Other flu shot locations are available at http://VaccineFinder.org.

Monterey County also reported its first flu related death of the season on Tuesday.

According to the Monterey County Health Department, the individual was an adult under the age of 65, and the first reported influenza-related death of the season. Department officials would not provide further details about the individual for medical privacy reasons.

The death comes as data indicates that influenza activity is increasing in Monterey County, health department officials said.

Flu symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches and fatigue.

Individuals most at risk of severe complications with flu infection include adults over the age of 65, children under the age of 5, pregnant women, and those with certain medical conditions such as asthma, heart disease and weakened immune systems.

Monterey County Health Officer Dr. Edward Moreno recommends that individuals at least six months of age and older be vaccinated against the flu.

“Influenza vaccination is a safe and effective way to protect your family from complications of influenza,” Moreno said in a statement.

The Monterey County Health Department is partnering with the Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System to offer a free community influenza clinic at Salinas Valley Memorial Hospital on Jan. 15 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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