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Imperial County reports first flu death

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Toddler tested positive for influenza B

IMPERIAL COUNTY, Calif. (KYMA, KSWT, KECY) - The Imperial County Health Department announced Tuesday its first death from complications due to influenza.

A toddler who tested positive for influenza B passed away earlier this month. Health officials don't know if the child was vaccinated.

“Our thoughts are with the family that has been affected by the recent death of a child due to influenza.   This is a sad reminder of how serious Influenza can be and that anyone can get sick with the flu.  It is important to remember that it is not too late to get a flu shot and vaccine continues to be available in the community.” said County Health Officer Dr. Stephen Munday.

Dr. Munday says the flu seems to be circulating at higher levels in Imperial County. He urges anyone six-months or older to get a flu shot now if they haven't done so already.

Shots are available at the Public Health Department on a walk-in basis for $5. You can also get the vaccine from your doctor, at community clinics including Clincas de Salud del Pueblo, and at local pharmacies.

Influenza is an acute respiratory illness spread from one infected person to another.

Signs and symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Dry cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle aches

The very young, the very old, and people with certain health conditions are at higher risk for serious flu complications.

Some steps for protecting yourself from the flu, and other respiratory illnesses, include:

  • Stay home when sick and limit contact with others
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with your sleeve or a tissue
  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth

For more information on the flu vaccine, you can contact the Imperial County Public Health Department's Immunization Program at (442) 265-1394.

Imperial County

Lisa Sturgis

Lisa Sturgis recently returned to KYMA as its Digital Content Director, but she has a long history with the Desert Southwest.

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