A 41-year-old man who died of the H1N1 virus is the first confirmed person to die of the flu this season in the city of Long Beach, officials said on Wednesday.
The man, who had underlying medical conditions, died after a brief hospitalization, city officials said in a press release.
Seeing an overall spike in flu cases in California and across the country, officials are urging people 6 months of age and older to get their annual flu shots, the California Department of Public Health said.
“There is still time to receive a flu vaccine, which includes coverage for the pandemic H1N1 strain, which is currently the predominant strain of influenza circulating in our region this season,” said Dr. Mitchell Kushner, a city health officer.
The Long Beach flu death comes five days after health officials confirmed that a 30-year-old Coachella Valley man who died tested positive for influenza, making it the first flu-related death in Riverside County this season.
Counties across the state and the nation have reported an increase in the number of cases, particularly of the H1N1 virus that caused a worldwide pandemic in 2009.
As in the 2009-10 influenza season, this strain of flu seems to affect a younger population that may not feel the need to receive their annual flu shot, officials said.
The Health Department is still offering flu vaccinations at its location at 2525 Grand Avenue in Long Beach. Schedule an appointment by calling the Health Department at 562-570-4315.
In addition to getting flu shots, officials are reminding people to practice the following the three “Cs” of disease prevention:
- Cover your cough;
- Clean your hands with soap and water;
- Confine sick people at home (do not go to work or school if sick)