The county’s Health Care Agency affirmed Thursday, Jan. 17, that a Santa Ana woman is Orange County’s first influenza related death of a person under 65 this season.
Officials said the woman had underlying health conditions and died from complications related to the flu. Lab testing confirmed that she was infected with the influenza A virus, health officials said.
This should serve as an important reminder to the public that the flu can be deadly, said Dr. Eric Handler, the county’s health officer.
“Influenza can cause serious illness, particularly in persons with underlying health conditions,” he said. “Everyone over six months of age should be vaccinated each year.”
A year ago was the worst influenza season in more than a decade. There were 164 influenza related deaths last year in California, compared to 81 deaths the year before.
The situation became so dire to the point that some Southern California hospitals opened up influenza triage tents in their parking lots to serve the high volume of patients.
The dominant strain last year was Influenza A H3N2, which wasn’t new. Be that as it may, it is regularly connected with severe illness in youthful kids and those 65 and older.
Influenza is a seasonal illness that is contagious. It could be caused by influenza A or B viruses.
Side effects of the flu typically include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headaches, body aches, chills and weakness.
The infection is mainly spread through droplets from sneezes and coughs.
Health officials say the best way to protect against the flu is by getting vaccinated. They recommend vaccinations for everyone 6 months of age and older and particularly for infants, young children, pregnant women, adults over 50 and those with chronic medical conditions.