State health officials announced California’s first two flu-related deaths of the season Friday, including an infant in Stanislaus County.
The news comes as health workers prepare for another in a series of Fresno County immunization clinics, Saturday at Sierra Vista Mall in Clovis. The clinic run by the county’s Department of Public Health will run from 9 a.m. to noon. Each immunization costs $6 and no on will be refused, the county said.
Bring all immunization records, Medicare cards for adults or Medi-Cal cards for children.
A parent or guardian must be present for those younger than 18 years old.
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The first two influenza-related deaths reported in the state this week were in Santa Clara County and Stanislaus County.
Stanislaus County health officials said a child less than a year old died there Tuesday. Officials did not release the child’s name or city of residence but said the infant had underlying medical conditions.
While most people will get over flu symptoms in three to seven days, the disease is more likely to cause severe complications in children younger than 2 years old, pregnant women and seniors.
The common symptoms include body aches, fever, congestion, headaches and cough. Flu-related vomiting and diarrhea are more common in children than in adults, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Health officials recommend flu vaccinations for adults (including pregnant women) and children 6 months or older. Flu shots also are recommended for family members and caregivers of infants to prevent the spread of the disease to young, vulnerable children.
Other precautions to prevent the spread of influenza include hand washing; not touching your eyes or nose; coughing into your sleeve; and staying home when sick.
“I am troubled when the flu turns into loss of life,” Dr. Karen Smith, the state’s public health officer, said in a statement. “It doesn’t have to. That’s why I urge you to get your flu shot. By getting vaccinated, you can keep yourself healthy and stop the virus from spreading to others.”
While flu activity remains sporadic, it peaks from December through April, officials said.
“Now is a good time to be vaccinated before the flu really spreads widely,” Smith said.
According to the department, two of this season’s vaccine components, the influenza A (H3N2) and influenza B (Yamagata lineage) strains, have been updated to match the viruses residents are likely to face during the 2015-16 flu season.