News Details

First flu-related death reported in Solano County for 2019-2020 flu season

January 23, 2020

SOLANO COUNTY – Solano Public health officials received the first report of an influenza-associated death in an adult Solano County resident for the 2019-2020 influenza season. As of January 4, 2020, there have been 70 reports of influenza-associated deaths among California residents.

"We offer our deepest sympathies to the individual's loved ones," said Solano County Health Officer Dr. Bela Matyas. “This personal loss is a reminder that flu can be a serious illness. We encourage residents to protect themselves and others during this flu season by getting a flu shot.”

Influenza activity normally starts in October, peaks in December through February, and may continue until May. According to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), influenza is currently widespread throughout the state primarily due to influenza B viruses and an increasing circulation of influenza A viruses. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) forecasts influenza activity nationwide to remain elevated for several more weeks.

Symptoms of the flu include fever, severe muscle or body aches, chills, severe chest discomfort and cough, headaches and fatigue. In most people, influenza causes a relatively mild illness, but it can become a severe infection that results in hospitalization and even death. People at high risk of complications from flu include children younger than five years old, adults over 65 years old, pregnant women and people with certain medical conditions like heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, or weakened immune systems.

The CDC recommends all people over the age of six months old to be vaccinated. Influenza vaccines are available in Solano County and it is not too late to get a flu shot. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide full protection against the virus.

“Vaccination is still the most effective protection to protect ourselves, our families, and our community from flu,” said Dr. Matyas.  “While it is not 100 percent effective against flu, the vaccine still lessens the severity of the symptoms. Being vaccinated from the flu significantly reduces the risk of flu-associated hospitalizations and deaths.”

People who are very sick or at high risk of serious flu complications should contact their health care provider early in their illness. Antiviral drugs can be prescribed by a physician and work best if started within two days of getting sick. Early treatment with an antiviral drug can prevent flu infections from becoming more serious.

Here are additional precautions that can help avoid getting or spreading flu:

-- If you are sick with flu-like illness, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. Drink plenty of fluids and rest as much as possible

-- Avoid close contact with sick people

-- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, and wash your hands often with soap and water

-- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth as germs spread this wa

-- Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like flu. Anyone who experiences more severe symptoms such as trouble breathing, pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen, difficulty eating or drinking, or confusion should contact their health care provider or seek emergency care.

For locations that offer influenza vaccine, visit

For more information about influenza prevention, diagnosis and treatment, visit the CDC website at

For information about influenza activity and surveillance in California, visit the CDPH website at