Los Angeles County has recorded its first flu death of the 2023-24 season, according to the Department of Public Health.
The person who died was only identified as an “elderly resident with multiple underlying conditions,” and they were not vaccinated against the flu, Public Health said in a press release.
“Although most people recover from influenza without complications, this death is a reminder that influenza can be a serious illness,” the press release said. “Pneumonia is the most common complication of the flu. Flu can also aggravate underlying health conditions like heart disease or asthma. Annually, thousands of people nationwide are hospitalized or die from influenza-associated illness.”
Public Health officials advise that everyone over 6 months old be vaccinated against the flu, which spreads alongside fellow respiratory viruses RSV and COVID-19, creating a “tripledemic” that can overwhelm health care providers.
If you do become sick with the flu, antiviral medications can lessen the duration of your illness and provide stronger protection against complications or death.
For information, visit Public Health’s website.
California typically sees between 4,000 and 7,000 flu and pneumonia deaths each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2021, the last full year of data available, 4,638 people died.