Sad news: Yesterday, the first confirmed influenza death in Long Beach for the 2013-2014 flu season was reported. The deceased was a 41-year-old man with an underlying medical conditions who died after a brief hospitalization. The Long Beach Health Department Public Health Laboratory confirmed the individual as having the Influenza A pandemic H1N1 strain.
The Health Department continues to encourage flu vaccinations for all people six months of age and older. “There is still time to receive a flu vaccine, which includes coverage for the pandemic H1N1 strain, which is currently the predominant strain of influenza circulating in our region this season,” said Mitchell Kushner, MD, Long Beach’s City Health Officer.
As in the 2009-10 influenza season, this strain of flu seems to affect a younger population that may not feel the need to receive their annual flu shot. The Health Department is still offering flu vaccinations at its location at 2525 Grand Avenue in Long Beach. Schedule an appointment by calling the Health Department at (562) 570-4315.
An annual flu vaccine is the first and most important step in protecting yourself and your family against the flu. It is also important to practice basic hygiene by remembering the three “Cs” of disease prevention in an effort to help prevent the spread of germs:
- Cover your cough in the crook of your arm and sneeze into your sleeve
- Clean your hands with soap and water
- Confine sick people at home (do not go to work or school if sick!)
Most individuals who get sick are able to treat themselves at home with over-the-counter medications, drinking plenty of fluids, resting, and staying home from work or school. However, people (especially those who are pregnant or have underlying health conditions) who are experiencing flu-like symptoms, should call their healthcare provider. Symptoms may include:
- A fever higher than 100℉
- A cough and/or sore throat
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
People experiencing flu-like symptoms should stay home from work or school and limit contact with others.
For more information, visit The Long Beach Health Department web site or call (562) 570-4000.