The individual was a toddler with no underlying health conditions. 

IMPERIAL COUNTY – The Imperial County Public Health Department announced today the first death this flu season from complications due to influenza.  The individual, a toddler, was positive for influenza B and passed away this month. It is unknown if the child had been vaccinated. Last flu season, five flu-related deaths were reported in Imperial County.

Dr. Stephen Munday, County Health Officer stated, “Our thoughts are with the family that has been affected by the recent death of a child due to influenza.   This is a sad reminder of how serious Influenza can be and that anyone can get sick with the flu.  It is important to remember that it is not too late to get a flu shot and vaccine continues to be available in the community.”   All persons six months of age and older, including health-care personnel, should receive a flu shot now if they have not yet received one this flu season. Flu continues to circulate at higher levels in Imperial County and flu activity is widespread statewide.

According to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), since September 29, when the flu season started, there have been twenty-four influenza-related deaths.  Measures of influenza activity monitored by CDPH are showing flu season started earlier in California than in recent years.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone six months and older receive a flu vaccine every year.  Flu shots are available at the Public Health Department on a walk-in basis.   The Imperial County Public Health Department has hosted a number of flu clinics for county staff, farmworkers and seniors throughout the county.  Flu vaccine is available during regular hours for $5.00.  In addition, flu vaccine is available with local physicians, community clinics including Clinicas de Salud del Pueblo, Inc. and local pharmacies.  Individuals who wish to receive the flu shot from their doctor will need to contact their healthcare provider directly about the availability of flu vaccine.

Influenza is an acute respiratory illness spread from infected persons to others. Signs and symptoms of the flu include fever, headache, extreme tiredness, dry cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, and muscle aches.  Some people, such as older adults, young children, and people with certain health conditions, are at higher risk for suffering serious complications from the flu. There are steps you can take in your daily life to help protect you from getting the flu.

There are steps you can take in your daily life to avoid getting the flu.

  • Wash your hands several times a day with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touch your eyes, nose or mouth. This is how germs spread.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Have good health habits.

Sleep well and exercise a lot, control your stress, drink plenty of fluids and eat healthy foods.

For more information regarding the flu vaccine, please contact the Imperial County Public Health Department’s Immunization Program at (442) 265-1394 or send an email to jovanaaraujo@co.imperial.ca.us  To find a flu shot, visit Health Map Vaccine Finder

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