L.A. County Health Officials Report First Flu-Related Death in 2019-2020 Season

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A sign advertising flu shots is displayed at a Walgreens phramacy on January 22, 2018 in San Francisco. (Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

A sign advertising flu shots is displayed at a Walgreens phramacy on January 22, 2018 in San Francisco. (Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Los Angeles County health officials on Monday reported the first influenza-related death of the 2019-2020 flu season.

A “middle-aged person with underlying health conditions” died in connection with the virus, the county Department of Public Health said.

In announcing the death, the agency urged immunization for everyone 6 months and older.

“This is a sad reminder that the flu can be a serious illness, especially for the elderly, young children and people with weakened immune systems,” said Dr. Muntu Davis, health officer for the county. “I would like to remind everyone that even if you’re healthy, you can still get seriously sick from the flu and spread the illness to others.”

Free or low-cost flu shots are available at county libraries, public health centers and other clinics. Residents can call 211 for more information.

Officials also reminded people to wash their hands frequently, cover their nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing and stay at home if they’re sick.

Experts say the flu season can start as early as October and can continue as late as May. The 2018-2019 season saw 125 reported flu deaths in L.A. County.

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