Health officials were emphasizing their drive to get people immunized against the flu on Friday, when the first death from the seasonal influenza was confirmed in Los Angeles County.
The victim was a 54-year-old woman in the San Fernando Valley who had an underlying medical condition, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. She died last week, officials said.
The county’s first hospitalization for the flu this season was reported Sept. 9, for Influenza A H1N1, a strain covered by this year’s vaccine.
The woman who died had type B, the Department of Public Health stated in a news release.
Both A and B strains were already circulating “sporadically” in L.A. County, officials said Friday.
Director of Public Health Dr. Jonathan Fielding encouraged everyone aged 6 months or older to get vaccinated against the flu, either by shot or nasal spray.
“We cannot predict how severe or how mild this flu season will be but the earlier you get your seasonal flu vaccine … the sooner you will be protected from the flu,” Fielding said in a news release.
Those with health insurance should get vaccinated from their regular clinic or health care provider, the department advised.
For information on flu vaccination locations, go to the county’s website or 211 from any landline or cell phone in Los Angeles County.
The Orange County Health Care Agency reported that county’s first case of the flu on Thursday; the agency offers free flu shots for those without insurance coverage every Thursday at a clinic in Santa Ana.