Flu Season Starts Early In Los Angeles County

Flu season

Image courtesy of Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The season’s first flu cases have already begun – that’s according to one top health official in Los Angeles County. One case of the flu has hospitalized one person, and officials are urging residents to get their influenza vaccine.

Dr. Jonathan Fielding said, it’s not uncommon to see sporadic cases of the flu during the summer and early autumn months. However, he said, the latest reports are indicating that the early influenza season is beginning in the region.

Fielding said everybody – six months and older – should get the nasal spray vaccine or the influenza shot and carry out the basic hygiene practices like hand-washing to slow down or stop the range of the flu and other respiratory diseases.

According to lab reports, the hospitalized patient is infected with the H1N1 virus. The vaccine for this year does cover this and a few other common flu strains.  Health officials say it can take at least two weeks for the body to create an immune response, which is why people need to get vaccinated early into the season.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 220,000 people every year are hospitalized from flu complication with an average of 24,000 people dying around the nation because of it.

While everybody will be affected by the flu differently, Fielding said the early symptoms of the disease include cough, fever, headache and muscle aches.  Vaccination is very important for people at great risk:

– Pregnant women
– Adults 50 years of age and older
– Children who are younger than five
– Anybody who has a compromised immune system
– Anybody with a chronic medical condition
– Anybody obese or overweight
– People who work in long-term care facilities or nursing homes
– People who work with children

Many supermarkets and pharmacies offer low-cost flu vaccines. And, people who don’t have health insurance can get county-sponsored free flu vaccines.

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Posted by on Sep 11 2013. Filed under Featured, Health, New. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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