A male resident in San Luis Obispo County has died from flu-related complications, becoming the county's first death linked to influenza this season, health officials reported Tuesday.
The identity and location of the individual weren't released, although the San Luis Obispo County Health Department said the man was at least 60 years old.
It's not known if the patient was vaccinated against the flu virus this season or if he had any underlying health risks, the County Public Health Department said.
A spike in cases and rise in flu-related deaths between December and January has set the stage for the current flu season to become the most s…
The man was infected with the "Type A" flu virus, which hasn't been as common across the state, health officials said, adding that "Type B" is the most common flu strain detected across the state.
Type B predominantly affects younger people from birth to age 24, while Type A tends to affect those from 25 to 64 years of age, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In California, according to public health data, 6,203 flu cases were reported since Sept. 29, 2019, which marked the beginning of the flu season, with 62% of those, or 3,821, identified as Type B.
Nationwide, 12,530 cases of influenza have been identified, with 58 percent of those cases, or 7,263, identified as Type B during the same period, according to the CDC.
Flu activity is widespread across the state and continues to increase, health officials said.
Six people have died from influenza in Santa Barbara County in the past two weeks, a number “significantly higher” than what was typically rec…
“This is a sad reminder that the flu can be very serious,” said Dr. Penny Borenstein, San Luis Obispo County's public health director. “We extend our sincere sympathy to this patient’s family and ask everyone to help play a part in reducing the spread of flu in our county. We can all take steps to protect ourselves and our most vulnerable neighbors.”
Protective measures include getting a flu shot for anyone over 6 months of age, washing hands often, covering coughs and sneezes and staying home when sick.
Flu shots are available from individuals' healthcare providers, at many local pharmacies and at Santa Barbara County Public Health Department clinics.
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