Kern County reports first flu death of season

Credit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases

"Anyone can get the flu and face serious complications, which include death", said DHD#10 Medical Director Jennifer Morse.

According to the American Lung Association, the influenza or flu is not just a bad cold, but a serious and contagious respiratory illness, and can be fatal.

Kern County Public Health Services Department announced Friday that it has received confirmation of the first flu-related death in Kern County for the 2018-2019 flu season.

The Florida Department of Health in Orange County is hosting a free drive-thru flu shot clinic on December 15 in Orlando. No appointment is necessary.

The state of IN has already recorded two flu-related deaths this season.

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Get vaccinated. The best way to protect yourself and your family from the flu is to get an annual flu shot, and the flu vaccination is recommended for everyone 6 months and older.

Doctors say a common myth is that the flu shot will cause a person to get the flu, but that isn't true. Cover your cough and sneeze, avoid people experiencing flu symptoms, stay home when you feel sick and wash your hands often. Symptoms include cough, fever, body aches and extreme exhaustion. People can also get the flu by touching something, like a door handle, that has the virus on it and then touching their mouth, eyes, or nose.

"Since implementing our mandatory flu vaccine program in 2013-2014, our vaccination compliance has always exceeded these benchmarks", Rasimowicz said.

While vaccination is the best protection, basic infection control measures can also reduce the spread of flu and should be taken whether or not individuals are vaccinated. Most people recover from the flu without complications, but nationwide there are up to 200,000 hospitalizations from flu each year. In addition to getting a flu shot, IDPH recommends following the 3 C's: clean, cover, and contain.

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