Solano County public health officials received the first report of an influenza-related death in the county for the 2019-20 season, according to a news release by the Solano County Administrator’s Office.
The release identified the victim only as an adult but gave no other information.
“We offer our deepest sympathies to the individual’s loved ones,” Solano County Health Officer Dr. Bela Matyas said in a statement. “This personal loss is a reminder that flu can be a serious illness. We encourage residents to protect themselves and others during this flu season by getting a flu shot.”
According to the release, there have been 70 reports of flu-related deaths among California residents. Activity generally stars in October, peaks in December through February and has the potential to continue through May.
Symptoms include fever, severe muscle or body aches, chills, severe chest discomfort and coughing, headaches and fatigue. In most cases, it can result in a mild illness, but severe infections can result in hospitalization or death.
People at the highest risk of complications from the flu include children under 5, adults over 65, pregnant women and individuals with medical conditions such as heart or lung disease, diabetes or debilitated immune systems.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all people above the age of 6 months get vaccinated. According to the release, influenza vaccines are located throughout Solano County and it takes about two weeks after the vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and fully protect against the influenza virus.
“Vaccination is still the most effective protection to protect ourselves, our families, and our community from flu,” Matyas said. “While it is not 100 percent effective against flu, the vaccine still lessens the severity of the symptoms. Being vaccinated from the flu significantly reduces the risk of flu-associated hospitalizations and deaths.”
The release suggests that people who are very sick or at high risk of serious flu complications should contact their health care provider as early as possible. It also recommends that people with flu-like illnesses stay home for at least 24 hours after their fever is gone except to receive medical care and other necessities, while also drinking copious amounts of fluids and resting as much as possible.
Other recommendations to help avoid getting or spreading the flu include avoiding close contact with sick people, covering your nose or mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, washing hands often with soap and water; avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth; and cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with the flu.