The City of Long Beach health officer has confirmed the first two influenza-associated deaths in Long Beach for the 2018-2019 flu season. Both individuals who died had underlying health conditions. Considering this tragic news, the City’s Health and Human Services Department (Health Department) continues to urge the public to get vaccinated against the flu.
“Getting the flu shot is one of the best things we can do for ourselves and to protect those around us,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “Public health is a serious matter and requires each of us to do our part.”
To date, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is reporting 119 influenza-associated deaths in California this flu season, based on data collected from death certificates statewide. Surveillance conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that the primary flu strain in most of the United States this season is influenza A (H1N1), which tends to be less severe than the influenza A (H3N2) strain that circulated during the 2017-2018 flu season.
“These deaths are a tragic reminder that flu can cause serious illness,” said Long Beach City Health Officer Dr. Anissa Davis, MD, MPH. “It’s not too late in the season to get the flu shot. Getting vaccinated is the safest and most effective way to prevent flu. The flu vaccine can prevent people from getting sick, or may lessen the severity of symptoms for those who become ill.”
The CDC recommends flu vaccine for everyone over six months of age, especially those at greatest risk for complications and those who live with or care for these individuals:
Symptoms of the flu include fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, body aches, headaches, and fatigue. In addition to getting the flu vaccine, practicing good hygiene such as washing hands, covering one’s cough, and staying home when sick can prevent others from becoming ill.
The Health Department continues to vaccinate residents during the flu season (November 1 through April 30). For more information, the community can call 562-570-4315 or visit www.longbeach.gov/flu.
About the City of Long Beach
Home to approximately 470,000 people, the multiple award-winning and innovative City of Long Beach offers all the world-class amenities of a large metropolitan city while maintaining a strong sense of individual and diverse neighborhoods nestled together along the California coast. As a full-service charter city, Long Beach is home to the Queen Mary, Aquarium of the Pacific, several museums and theaters, a highly-rated school district, Long Beach Airport, the Port of Long Beach, as well as many award-winning City departments such as Health, Parks, Recreation and Marine, Development Services and more. The City also has a highly-respected university and city college, two historic ranchos, five hospitals, five golf courses, 171 parks, miles of beaches, marinas, bike paths, and a Bike Share program.
About Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services
The mission of the Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services is to improve quality of life by promoting a safe and healthy community in which to live, work and play. Long Beach Health is one of only three city-run health departments in California, which allows for better engagement with residents, neighborhoods, businesses and community partners, and fosters a greater understanding of the City's strengths. For more information, visit us at www.longbeach.gov/health, "Like" us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.
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