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First influenza associated death reported in Solano County in 2016-2017 flu season
January 4, 2017
SOLANO COUNTY – Public health officials received confirmation last week of the first influenza-associated death reported in Solano County for the 2016-2017 influenza season.
"The individual was an adult under 65 years old and had a medical condition that put them at risk for severe illness," said Dr. Michael Stacey, MD, MPH, Solano County Deputy Health Officer and Health and Social Services Deputy Director. “We offer our deepest sympathies to the individual's family and friends.”
According to the California Department of Public Health, influenza activity in California is increasing, with most of the activity occurring in Northern and Central California and the Bay Area regions. As of December 24, 2016, there have been three reports of influenza-associated deaths in patients under 65 years old in California. Influenza-associated deaths in persons under 65 years old are reportable in California.
In the United States, influenza activity normally peaks in December through February, and may continue until May. In most people, influenza causes a mild illness, but it can be a severe infection that results in hospitalization and even death.
“This is a reminder for all of us to take appropriate precautions against getting influenza,” says Dr. Stacey. “Influenza vaccination is still the most effective way to protect yourself and your family from getting ill with the flu or from getting severe complications. Influenza vaccines are still widely available and it is not too late to get vaccinated.”
Annual influenza vaccination is recommended for everyone six months or age or older. People at high risk of complications from influenza include children younger than five years old, adults over 65 years old, pregnant women and those with certain medical conditions like heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, or weakened immune systems.
In addition to getting vaccinated, residents should take the following precautions:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub and rub your hands together well.
- Cover your cough and sneezes. Use a tissue to cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze or cough and always throw away the used tissue in the trash. Remember to wash your hands after you cough or sneeze. You can also cover your cough and sneezes with your sleeves if you do not have a tissue available.
- Stay home when you are ill to avoid spreading the virus to other people.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
Solano County Public Health will be providing free influenza vaccines at the KROC Center, located at 586 East Wigeon Way, Suisun City on January 28, 2017 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. For other locations that offer influenza vaccine, visit http://VaccineFinder.org.