County Confirms First Flu Cases of the Season

Three people were infected with Influenza A H3N2, one with H1N1

By Ashley Gordon
|  Wednesday, Oct 19, 2011  |  Updated 9:55 PM PDT
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Dr. Bruce Hensel has details on first cases of flu, and advice.

Dr. Bruce Hensel has details on first cases of flu, and advice.

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Three adults and one child in the San Fernando Valley and West Los Angeles are the first confirmed Los Angeles County flu cases this season, the county’s Public Health Department said. The afflicted have all since recovered.

“These confirmed cases mark the beginning of a flu season that can stretch from now until May of next year,” said Jonathan E. Fielding, the department’s director, in a statement. “The earlier you get your personal flu vaccine, the sooner you will be protected from the flu.”

Three of the individuals were infected with Influenza A H3N2, and one person was infected with H1N1, according to the statement.

This year’s flu vaccine covers both strains of the virus that infected residents. It also covers the Influenza B strain.

Everyone inflicted with the flu will have a fever, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Other symptoms include a cough, sore throat, runny nose and body aches.

Pregnant women, young children, the elderly and individuals with medical conditions are among those at greater risk of acquiring seasonal influenza, according to new vaccine guidelines.

The CDC recommends any person six months of age or older get the flu vaccine every year.

“Flu is a serious illness and should be treated as such,” Fielding said. “Ample vaccine is already available in LA County in a variety of locations, including pharmacies, supermarkets, community clinics and doctor’s offices.”

Free flu vaccine clinics operated by the LA County Public Health Department are scheduled to open next week throughout the county for those without health insurance or those with healthcare providers that do not cover flu shots.

Residents can also visit http://www.findaflushot.com/ to locate other low-cost flu vaccination sites.

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