Orange County health officials announced the first flu-related death of a person under the age of 65 Thursday as the death toll statewide stands at 52.
A Santa Ana woman who suffered from underlying health conditions died due to complications from the virus, the County of Orange Health Care Agency said. She was infected with the influenza A virus.
Fifty-two flu-related deaths have been reported across California since Sept. 30, according to the latest update from public health officials. Data released by state health officials shows a spike in January of flu patients being seen by medical professionals.
“This is an important reminder that influenza can cause serious illness, particularly in persons with underlying health conditions,” County Health Officer Dr. Eric Handler said in a news release from O.C. health officials.
Handler said everyone over 6 months of age should be vaccinated each year.
Influenza, the common seasonal respiratory illness, is caused by influenza A or B viruses and characterized by symptoms including sore throat, fever, runny or stuffy nose, headaches, body aches and a cough.