Orange County health authorities Wednesday announced the first influenza-related death of a person under 65 this flu season.
Laboratory tests confirmed that a 50-year-old Westminster man who died was infected with influenza B virus.
“This is a sad and somber reminder of the serious threat posed by influenza,” said Dr. Eric Handler, Orange County’s health officer. “It is important for everyone to continue practicing good respiratory and hand hygiene to limit the transmission of influenza germs from person to person, and to get vaccinated.”
The county has seen an increase in the number of cases of both influenza A and influenza B in recent weeks, and eight people under the age of 65 have been hospitalized in intensive care with severe influenza, according to an Orange County Health Care Agency statement.
The Health Care Agency offers free seasonal flu vaccinations for people 6 months old and up who do not have a medical provider or health insurance coverage.
The shots are available on a walk-in basis every Thursday from 8 to 11:30 a.m. and 1 to 4 p.m. at the Public Health Clinic at 1725 W. 17th St. in Santa Ana.
Flu vaccines are also available from health care providers, clinics and pharmacies throughout Orange County. Locations can be found at www.ochealthinfo.com/flu or by calling the Health Referral Line at (800) 564- 8448 on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
—City News Service