The first flu-related death of the season in Los Angeles County has been reported to health officials.
The senior woman with "underlying medical conditions" resided in the Pomona area, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.
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Flu activity has been on the rise within the last few weeks and might continue to increase in the coming months, according to a health department statement. Flu season activity will likely peak in January or February, health officials said.
"While we may not be able to predict the severity of flu this season, there are indications that it may get worse," said Dr. Jeffrey Gunzenhauser, interim health officer for Los Angeles County. "If an infant, pregnant woman, older person or anyone with chronic medical conditions develops symptoms that could be the flu, make sure they are evaluated quickly."
An average of 24,000 flu-related deaths occur in the United States each year. Influenza vaccinations are encouraged for anyone 6 months and older, according to health officials.
On Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the flu is widespread in 29 of the 54 states and territories that it monitors. That figure is up dramatically from four at this time last year.