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Orange County reports season’s first influenza death

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Orange County Health Care Agency

Orange County Reports Season’s First Influenza Death

Most Influenza in the County is pH1N1

(Santa Ana) – A 28 year-old Orange County woman died last week from influenza A (pH1N1)-related disease. This is the first influenza-related death reported in the county in a person under 65 this season.

Reports of influenza disease have increased in Orange County in the last couple of weeks. The vast majority of reported cases have been Influenza A and most of those have been due to a strain called pH1N1, the same strain that has been circulating since the 2009 pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently issued an alert discussing reports from several states of severe illness in young and middle-aged adults due to pH1N1 virus.

Getting vaccinated is the first and most important step in protecting against influenza. CDC recommends an annual influenza vaccination for everyone 6 months and older. Anyone who has not yet been vaccinated this season should still obtain a vaccination now; particularly persons at higher risk for severe influenza illness such as people with chronic medical conditions (like heart disease, lung disease or diabetes), young children, pregnant women and obese persons.

In addition to getting vaccinated, a few small actions will help reduce the spread of flu and other illnesses:
• Stay home if you are sick
• Cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing
• Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth

Vaccinations are widely available from private physicians, pharmacies and other retail businesses in the community. Information about these locations and dates is available at Free vaccinations are also available to eligible individuals through the Orange County Health Care Agency. Call the HCA Health Referral Line at 1-800-564-8448 or visit or the Centers for Disease Control website for more information.

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