SLO County Public Health confirms first flu death of season

Henrietta Strickland
January 15, 2020

There have been 22 flu-related deaths in IN so far this year, last year during this time there were only four.

The county agency issued an advisory on January 8 warning residents that the flu season had not yet peaked and urging people to take appropriate precautions.

The flu vaccine is still available at most local health departments while supplies last.

"In a typical Flu season about 75 percent of the flu cases presenting as type A Influenza and the remaining type B influenza", said Libby Richards an Associate Professor of Nursing at Purdue.

"The flu can be severe enough to take a life so we have to take it seriously for sure", Ross said.

Type B cases aren't what is normally seen during the flu season. "There are more children who have died [this year] at the same point in time as previous years". People at higher risk for flu-related complications include children ages newborn to 5, adults over the age of 65, pregnant women and people who have existing medical conditions such as asthma.

Fauci said although it's not a good match for the strain. Health experts believe the increased number of deaths has to do with the type of Influenza that is circulating.

The most common strain so far this season is influenza A H1NI, accounting for about 60 percent of cases, followed by influenza B (Victoria) strain at roughly 35 percent.

"It's not a ideal match, but vaccines are still the best bet to provide protection", he said. "Almost every year, one of the viruses is not perfectly matched".

"I wish to implore persons who fall in the high-risk groups, to ensure that they are vaccinated against the flu". People can take additional steps to ward off the flu by coughing or sneezing into a tissue or elbow and avoiding touching their face. "Flu waxes and wanes; people shouldn't think it's over", he noted.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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