Health Officer Confirms First Death from Influenza in Long Beach this Flu Season
The City Health Officer has confirmed the first influenza-associated death in an individual less than 65 years of age in Long Beach during the 2017-2018 flu season. The individual was in their 30s and had underlying health conditions.
“This death is a sober reminder that flu can cause serious illness,” said Anissa Davis, MD, MPH, Long Beach City Health Officer. “The Long Beach Health Department continues to recommend that all individuals six months of age and older get their flu vaccine. Getting the flu vaccine can prevent people from getting sick, or may lessen the severity of symptoms for those who become ill.”
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) reported 74 cases of laboratory-confirmed influenza-associated deaths among patients under 65 years of age to date during this flu season. Surveillance conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that the primary flu strain this season is influenza A (H3N2), which has been associated with higher rates of hospitalizations and deaths in persons 65 years and older and young children.
The CDC recommends flu vaccine for everyone over six months of age, especially those at greatest risk for complications and those who live with or care for these individuals:
- Pregnant women.
- Children younger than five years of age.
- Adults 65 years and older.
- People with weakened immune systems.
- Those with certain medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, lung disease, or conditions affecting the nervous system.
- People who are overweight or obese.
- Those working or living in nursing homes or long-term care facilities.
- Health care personnel.
- Child care workers.
Symptoms of flu include: fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, body aches, headaches, and fatigue. In addition to getting the flu vaccine, practicing good hygiene such as washing hands, covering one’s cough, and staying home when sick can prevent those around you from becoming ill.
It is not too late to get vaccinated against the flu. The Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services (Health Department) continues to vaccinate residents during the flu season at the Health Department, 2525 Grand Ave. For more information, please visit http://bit.ly/2lmwZQP.
About Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services
The mission of the Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services is to improve quality of life by promoting a safe and healthy community in which to live, work and play. Long Beach Health is one of only three city-run health departments in California, which allows for better engagement with residents, neighborhoods, businesses and community partners, and fosters a greater understanding of the City’s strengths. For more information, visit us at www.longbeach.gov/health, “Like” us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.